Property Type: Commercial
Neighborhood: North End  |  County: Ada  |  Building Status: Public  |  Architectural Style: Shed
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The Stoa Building, home of the Hummel Architect Firm and designed by architect Greg Ugrin in 2001, exemplifies true architectural ingenuity.

Upon first glance, the Stoa has many unique qualities that are reminiscent of the contemporary style, a subset of modern architecture. The exterior lacks ornamentation, and instead relies upon other stylistic elements to enhance its seamlessly professional appearance. Among those stylistic elements used, the variety of building materials used is at first most apparent. Concrete buttress walls, cedar siding, and balconies of steel all contrast beautifully, creating an image of utmost artistic significance. In addition, the Stoa Building enhances its modernistic appearance with the ease by which it fits into the surrounding foothills. Both the interior and exterior blend masterfully with the high-desert color scheme, and is enhanced by the location of the building itself, which was built into a 30′ cut into the hillside.

“Stoa” was a term used in Ancient Greek architecture, which referred to slopping roofs over walkways. Clearly, The Stoa Building was appropriately named, due to building’s large, sloped roof, which places it in the category of shed-style architecture. In addition to a Frank Loyd Wright reminiscent roof, another aspect of the shed-style that the Stoa Building contains is a downplayed front doorway. The front entrance to the Stoa Building is a non-descript glass door, which seems to become lost amidst the full length, luminescent windows adorning the exterior.

As a mainstream characteristic of modern architecture, the Stoa Building’s function was paired with its design. Each of the individual working spaces and conference rooms were intended to be functional, with certain airs of artistic expression as well. Upon entering the office space, for example, all visions of cubicle crammed nightmares vanish. Instead, the architects for Hummel enjoy an environment that embraces free space and creativity. In addition to being “visually friendly,” the Stoa Building is also environmentally friendly! Although not an official “Green Building,” the Stoa is composed only of materials that were not detrimental to the surroundings.

All of these architecturally advanced attributes culminated, in 2001, to The Stoa Building being presented the biannual Design Award by AIA Idaho, a singular achievement. In truth, The Stoa Building is a real gem of Boise architecture, providing a source of artistic inspiration for generations to come.