The Veltex Building, constructed in 2002, is located in the Old Boise Historic District in downtown Boise. The site is the location of the former Veltex service/gas station and is just two blocks from the heart of the downtown business district. Basic design elements that were identified at an early stage in the design process included use of Boise sandstone, brick, punched windows, and glass awnings at street level. Fortunately, the City agreed to allow the Veltex service station sign, a local landmark, to remain on the site.
At first glance of the Veltex building it is obvious that the building that the building is not perfectly square. There is a purpose for this. The designers said that if they left a plaza open on the corner of the building it would be more beneficial to the community. It is also to make things feel more open around the building, and more inviting. On top of that it left the designers room to put up the old Veltex gas station sign that points out the historical significance of the building.
The lighting on this building is also key in accenting the outside of the building. First of all there is a custom made Veltex light fixture placed at various places on the building. Local artisans using a glass creating precess called slumping created this light fixture. Next there are the awnings. These are not traditional awnings in that they are not made of canvas, but are made up of several translucent panes of glass. A light is placed underneath the awning so that at night the light will reflect back onto the building. Lastly there is a fiber optic light that surrounds the building and also lights up at night. All of these lights give character to the building, and bring it to life at night.
The Material that the building is made with ate very important. First of all there are parts of the building that are made with sandstone that comes from Boise’s very own quarry. Also there are decorative pieces that highlight the edges of the windows. This material is very similar to sandstone. It is called arriscraft. Arriscraft is actually sandstone that has been ground up and then super compressed. Since arriscraft and sandstone look so similar the difference can hardly be seen.