Oregon Coast Creamery Gets a Fresh Look
March 31 2019
Spotted with dairy farms and located along the coast of Oregon, the small town of Tillamook has a deep-rooted history that has allowed it to make a big name for itself. The Tillamook Creamery, named after its hometown, has been farmer-owned since 1909 and the generations of dairy farmers who have participated know that the secret to making great dairy products is to raise comfortable and well cared-for cows. This is the reason why Tillamook Cheese is widely recognized as the best cheese throughout the West Coast and the Tillamook Creamery Visitor Experience, which hosts a fully operational cheese-making facility, attracts over 1.3 million visitors a year.
With plans to expand its brand presence nationwide, Tillamook decided it was time to create an updated visitor experience at the Creamery. Teaming with Olson Kundig Architects, Studio SC designed architecturally integrated exhibits that allow visitors to gain a comprehensive view of what life is like on a dairy farm and the process of turning high-quality milk into delicious cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. Working with copywriters, illustrators and photographers, Studio SC has developed a visual storytelling approach that gives a nod to Tillamook’s 110-year history while also focusing on the modern diary industry. Life-size photography, informative custom illustrations, and playful interactive exhibits help immerse visitors in the Tillamook Way.
As visitors approach, an image of a Jersey cow greets them above the doorway. Entering into the space, 30-foot tall photos representing Tillamook’s past and present reinforce the company’s historic timeline, which draws visitors toward the café and to one of the favorite photo opportunities – the Tillamook Yum Bus.
Discoverable moments, such as etched cow tracks that lead up the stairs to the second floor, give visitors moments of delight that also serve to direct them to additional unique exhibits. The second floor exhibits include nine-foot tall illuminated cases that highlight the important roles of both the dairy farmers and the Creamery workers. An “On the Farm” exhibit utilizes large format photography and farm-based materials to showcase real artifacts and stories from local farmers. Several interactive features also help to enhance the experience, including a calf feeding area and cow milking station.
The “Viewing Gallery” gives visitors an informative look at how cheese is made and packaged, and custom illustrations and infographics help to explain every step of the process. Finally, the “Cheese Tasting” room features an interactive, milk-bucket display that emphasizes the important role that customers play in creating new and innovative products and in driving the brand’s success.
The new Visitor’s Experience represents a turning point in the Tillamook brand, with the ultimate goal for every visitor to leave with a greater appreciation for the brand’s history, commitment and continued stewardship towards its customers and community.
Project team includes: Olson Kundig (architect), Precision Construction (general contractor), GHD (civil engineer), CIDA (structural engineer), CEI (mechanical engineer), Cundiff Engineering (electrical engineer), Niteo (lighting), Rand Associates and Ellipse Studio (content development), Lovett Design and Owen Davey (illustrators), BRC Acoustics (acoustical engineer), Karen Braitmayer (accessibility consultant), and Formations, Inc. (fabrication and installation).