Shaped Like no Other Packing Plant in the World!

Rancho Viejo, TX
Year Built – 1961
Architects – Alan Y. Taniguchi and Charles Croft
Alan Taniguchi and his partner Charles Croft were especially identified with the use of thin shell technology in the Valley. Their House of Mo-Rose citrus packing shed of 1961 was roofed by an economical system of cast-in-place concrete hyperbolic paraboloid vaults.

“Ultra Modern Gift Fruit Packing Plant Opening,” San Benito News, 1 January 1962, p. 4.

J. L. Brett, Valley cotton broker turned citrus marketer, announces opening of ultra modern gift fuit packaging plant at Brett Orchards near Olmito, nine miles from San Benito. The House of Mo-Rose to begin operation with capacity for 100,000 units of gift citrus per year. Ruby Red grapefruit will be main bill of fare Oranges and other fruits will also be packed. Jack Dobson to manage 13,425 sf plant.

Architect Charles Croft of Taniguchi Assoc. says it is shaped like no other packing plant in the world. Inverted hyperbolic paraboloid: upside down columns with warps at their tops that add strength to the building.

Precast concrete and glass are two most prominent materials. Massive concrete walls and columns were cast on site and then lifted into place. One-story with open catwalk connecting two mezzanines. On first floor is air-conditioned 800 sf office and reception area paneled with Brazilian rosewood.

Croft says all colors are coordinated. Color harmony important because everything is exposed. Even the machinery will be painted. Delivery, washing, sizing, grading, packing, and shipping of gift fruit all take place on first floor. Mezzanines used for materials storage, fruit drying, and box construction. Extensive planning went into design of building, according to J. L. Brett & Co. spokesman. Located on edge of 200-acre orchard, within walking distance of where grapefruit is grown, picked, washed, graded, packed, and shipped.