Commercial architecture in Seattle fuses a masterful skill set of neighborhood integration, urban design innovation, large scale renovation, and valued relationships between landscape and design-scape. The firms listed below are Seattle based firms who have overseen more than one notable project in Seattle. They are responsible for shaping Seattle’s universities, highrises, tech campuses, hospitals, and civic landmarks. Some of these firms have reached around the world, while others are strong representatives of the local culture and aesthetic in Seattle and Bainbridge Island. Spaces that communicate a sense of collaboration and interconnectedness are the theme, whether it’s a museum lobby, a 37-story high rise, or a 3.3M-square-foot tech campus. One thing’s for sure, commercial architecture in Seattle is grounded in a sense of community-driven leadership and nature-based inspiration.
AIA Seattle Project of the Month,
NAIOP Innovation Project of the Year,
Faith & Form/ IFRAA Awards
911 Pine Street, Floor Two, Seattle, WA 98101
Atelierjones is a multi-talented design firm that has been serving Seattle since 2003. It is experienced in reclaiming urban sites, churches, offices, homes, theaters, transit stations, sport courts, and gardens. At its helm is founder and American Institute of Architects (AIA) Fellow Susan Jones, who has nurtured a firm that believes in revitalizing the overlooked value in sites and buildings and hunting for inspiring new ways to implement sustainable building practices alongside visual appeal. The firm collaborates with several arts nonprofit organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest, including Arcade, Architects without Borders, and Suyama Space. Jones has taught at the University of Washington since 1991 and is also a visiting design critic at several national universities. She is LEED BD+C certified and is an Affiliate Associate Professor of Architecture in the College of Built Environments. Atelierjones has received many esteemed national and local design awards under Jones’s leadership, including the AIA Seattle Project of the Month, the NAIOP 2008 Innovation Project of the Year, the Faith & Form/ IFRAA Awards, and the AIA Seattle Honor Awards – Honorable Mention.
Atelierjones went to work renovating 18k square feet of the Seattle Tower, a historic edifice that represents the late 20s Art Deco period. It worked on 26 tenant lobbies, the main lobby, the exterior elevations around the building’s base, and four elevator cabs. It also took over the design and coordination of the tower’s lighting. When the University of Washington wanted to create what is known as the Dean of the School of Medicine Audio/visual Conference Room, Atelierjones fused two existing 1970s-era classrooms to construct the new space. To transform the hard lines of the previous rooms, the firm cultivated curves in the corners of the room, the counters, and the acoustic drop ceiling. The floating acoustic ceiling uses recessed LED lights and air diffusers.
Coates Design Architects
900 Winslow Way E #210, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
About Coates Design Architects
Coates Design takes pride in its expertise for sustainable design and green building techniques. The firm solves complex problems by discovering innovative and highly cost-effective solutions. Matthew Coates, president, founder and principal architect at Coates Design, believes a positive team spirit is necessary for a functional working environment, and he emphasizes the importance of energy use and material choice. Some of the larger-scale projects he has overseen include the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, which was recognized with a LEED Gold certification, the Harrison Urgent Care Facility, and the S’Klallam Tribe Youth Community Center. The firm’s work has been highlighted and featured in Inside Bainbridge, the Seattle Times, and the Bainbridge Island Review.
The Harrison Medical Center is Bainbridge Island’s first 24/7 urgent care facility, and it’s a big one. Made up of 25k square feet of urgent, primary, and speciality medical care, which includes laboratory and diagnostic services, it is a high-quality representation of the firm’s ability to execute design that keeps the goal of the facility in mind (patient-centered care), while still maintaining low costs and environmentally friendly standards. Due to the nearby stream and wetlands, consideration was high during planning, in order to ensure that the construction wouldn’t generate disruptive or harmful effects on the ecosystem. Stormwater was managed using rain gardens, pervious paving, and a retention pond. The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art is an important visual landmark, as visitors and locals disembark the ferry boat. Coates Design executed a stunning visual concept that is attention calling, yet well-aligned with the surrounding environment. The structure’s curves, its walls of glass windows, and the gorgeous entryway are only a few of the appealing design elements. Light also played a big factor in the process, resulting in the creation of long strips of skylights on the uppermost level of the museum. To avoid light damage to the artwork, Coates problem-solved by creating curved, baffled light shelves that float beneath the skylights. When natural daylight streams into the space, it scatters as it bounces from the light shelves and travels into the gallery to heighten the lovely ambience.
710 Second Avenue, Suite 1400, Seattle, WA 98104
CollinsWoerman was co-founded by Arlan Collins and Mark Woerman in 1988, and their firm has always been modeled on a highly collaborative working environment, with an emphasis on expressive, timeless, and environmentally sound design. The company’s work is now valued at around $1B a year in construction value. It is experienced in a wide range of project types, including office, healthcare, residential, and science/technology. Collins is a registered architect in Washington, Idaho, California, Utah, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Dakota, Hawaii, and British Columbia. Woerman is an AIA member, as well as LEED AP BD + C certified, and he graduated from the University of Idaho with his Bachelor of Architecture. Woerman then completed graduate studies in Arctic Engineering at the University of Alaska. CollinsWoerman owns Sustainable Living Innovations, a project delivery company that reduces construction timeframes by up to 60 percent.
CollinsWoerman’s work for Schnitzer West on the Urban Union, a 268k-square-foot office building in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, is a feat of design innovation and high-functioning form. Highlights include a sleek exterior, a blue glass-covered entryway, and exposed wood beams and ceiling work in the entry, in highly textured, triangular shapes. The 428 Westlake Building is an impressive 87.5k square foot, including 5,000 square feet of street-level retail and 125 spaces of above- and below-grade parking. Designed as a LEED Certified Building, the office floor plates are around 15 percent more efficient than tenant layouts for comparable buildings. One of the more eye-catching features is the lovely curved awnings above an upper floor balcony.
AIA Institute Honor Award,
American Architecture Awards,
Architizer Popular Choice Award
801 2nd Avenue, Suite 501, Seattle, WA 98104
About LMN Architects
LMN was founded in 1979 by George Loschky, Judsen Marquardt, and John Nesholm, with the goal of influencing and strengthening civic and urban identity. It has a strong national presence and seeks to cultivate design that upholds the health and vitality of communities on all levels. It has a multidisciplinary staff that represents high-quality expertise in architecture, interior design, urban design, and design research. Its team includes many LEED-certified designers, as well as AIA members and fellows. The firm has received countless awards. In 2017 alone, LMN received the AIA Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design, the American Architecture Awards for Airports and Transportation Centers, and the Popular Choice Winner for Architecture + Glass from Architizer.
The Aspira tower is 37-story, 346k-square-foot highrise, which includes 325 units for tenants, street-level retail, and a public plaza nicely integrated with the entry lobby. The tower is placed on a city-designated Green Street, and, therefore, a vertical pattern of landscaping features are threaded into lower portions of the building. LMN used a curtain wall glazing system and crafted punched balconies, and the building envelope allows ample natural light into all the units, as well as stunning views of nature and the city. The Midtown21 Office Building highrise is 21 stories and reinvents the typical office tower design to provide space for tenants in the tech sector, creating a whole new level of interactivity. This Class A structure sits on a street corner in the Denny Triangle district and is a leading example of sustainable, civic-focused design on a city-designated Green Street. Highlights include social lounges, conference facilities, a fitness center, an outdoor terrace, and a rain canopy.
AIA Honor Awards,
AIA Merit Awards
223 Yale Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109
NBBJ believes in productive, sustainable spaces that allow people to live, learn, work, and play, freely. It has helped some of the world’s leading organizations create environments that support effective, innovative atmospheres for collaborative, progressive thinking and business. Because of this, it has curated an impressive clientele of companies which include, Google, Amazon, Samsung, Microsoft, and Tencent. NBBJ was founded in 1943 and has national and international locations in Beijing, Boston, Columbus, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Pune, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Seattle. Its team is comprised of a group of skilled researchers, strategists, nurses, architects, anthropologists, planners, and interior designers.
NBBJ worked with Amazon to bring a fresh vitality to Seattle’s Denny Regrade neighborhood. It crafted Amazon’s new corporate office spaces, ground-level retail, and public amenities. The large-scale project takes up approximately 3.3M square feet of space, spread between three city blocks, and includes three, 37-story, high-rise office towers. One of the main goals is to highlight Amazon’s community-based atmosphere, and the design aims to encourage a neighborhood feeling versus that of a campus. The first high-rise, known as the Doppler, was finished in 2015 and is 37 stories tall. A new home for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation called for a design that took into account the need for collaborative environments as well as focused workspaces. The result is 40/60, closed/open workplace strategy, as well as wireless connectivity throughout the campus. The campus is LEED Platinum certified and an impressive 640k square feet.
Kirsten R. Murray
National AIA Architecture Firm Award,
Seattle Medal of Honor,
Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award,
American Academy of Arts and Letters
159 South Jackson Street, Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98104
About Olson Kundig
In business since 1966, Olson Kundig is a full-service design firm adept at a versatile array of architecture challenges. It has left its mark on museums and exhibition spaces, hospitality projects, residences, mixed-use commercial, places of worship, and landscape design. Led by five owners, Jim Olson, Tom Kundig, Kirsten R. Murray, Alan Maskin, and Kevin Kudo-King, the firm is composed of over 175 professionals with its base located in the Pioneer Square neighborhood. In 2014 the firm opened a space in New York in order to better serve its expanding portfolio of East Coast and international clients. The firm’s work and designers have been recognized with the National AIA Architecture Firm Award, the Seattle Medal of Honor, the National Design Award from the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, and the Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2012, Olson and Kundig were inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame and named one of the Top Ten Most Innovative Companies in Architecture by Fast Company. The firm also has its own landscape design studio, which provides in-house design services and dedicates itself to crafting and artfully integrating nature into specific spaces, making its projects highly personalized.
The firm’s capabilities are best showcased in its work on the South Arcade building in Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market, which is a grand, 260k-square-foot, mixed-use facility that combines three unique buildings that connect to First Avenue and Post Alley via interior streets and passageways. This 12-story structure, including a 59-unit residential tower, the Market Gardens, base floor retail spaces, an atrium, and a 20-unit apartment building, seamlessly creates an artistic, sleek aesthetic that folds in nicely with Pike Place and its bold character.
Design Excellence Awards,
BD+C Giants Report #1 in University Design
1301 5th Avenue #2300, Seattle WA 98101
Perkins+Will is a national, interdisciplinary, research-based architecture and design firm that has been in operation since 1935 and has worked on projects around the globe. It believes that design can change lives and enrich communities and are dedicated to creating healthy, sustainable places to live, work, learn, and relax. The firm is composed of over 2,000 professionals spread across over 20 of its offices nationwide, one of which is based in Seattle. The firm earns hundreds of design awards each year and is considered a leader in corporate social responsibility. It has secured partnerships with an impressive list of companies, which include Nelson/Nygaard, Genesis Planning, and Pierre-Yves Rochon. One Perkins+Will’s most impressive distinctions include the Design Excellence Awards for Health and Wellness. It was also ranked first in University Design in 2017 by the BD+C Giants Report.
Design for the University of Washington School of Medicine at South Lake Union is a stunning fusion of clean lines, a sleek professional visual appeal, and an academically minded flow. The slanted window-based exterior, with splashes of orange and yellow siding, is both urban and artful, and the interior textured wood panels above the retina center entryway create a powerful, cutting-edge aesthetic. The University of Washington Husky Union Building uses a refined and progressive combination of glass, open mezzanines, wood paneled walls, and well-positioned interior rectangular windows to generate a vibe that feels quintessentially Pacific Northwest, yet inviting, professional, and academic. Other highlights include the high, slanted wood paneled ceilings, the warm can lighting, and the exterior glass enclosure above the entry.
AIA People’s Choice Award,
RealNetworks Seattle Local Architect National Merit Award,
International Design Award
2333 3rd Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121
About SkB Architects
SkB is a full-service architectural and interior design firm composed of over 40 talented professionals and craftsmen. It takes pride in its ability to create flexible, visually stunning, and high-performance environments. The firm was founded by Shannon and Kyle Gaffney and Brian Collins-Friedrichs in 1999. Shannon Gaffney has worked on diverse projects, from mixed-use to retail, residential, office, and restaurant. Kyle Gaffney focuses on designing structures that are cost and resource conscious, and he is primarily responsible for SkB’s residential home practice. Brian Collins-Friedrichs brings decades of experience to the team and is an expert when it comes to balancing creativity and technical prowess. SkB was a finalist for the 2017 Architizer Award and the 2016 Mixed-Use Development of the Year Award. The firm also received the 2015 AIA People’s Choice Award in Urban Design 400 Fairview, the RealNetworks’ Seattle Local Architect National Merit Award, and the 2013 International Design Award for the Bel Henry Residence. The firm’s work has been featured in Interior Design Magazine, Portrait of Seattle, Luminous Spec, Dwell, and Simple Sanctuary.
With the targeted LEED Platinum project that is known as 400 Fairview, SkB Architects utilizes a community-oriented approach to its mixed-use facilities projects, by proposing design that encourages connection and activity. A notable highlight is the side core floors, which enhance the open feeling and also achieve 50 percent more efficiency than standard Seattle office buildings. The visual is progressive and chic, featuring both boxy and long rectangular modules, outdoor patio seating, mosaic-tiled elevator exterior, industrial light fixtures, and plenty of communal space. SkB was asked to take on the challenge of repositioning the Westlake Tower as a premier Class A office building. The repositioning and renovation aims to create a new relationship between the office tower and the adjacent mall, through the use of light, materials, and a contemporary aesthetic. Renovated spaces will include the tenant amenity suite, the main floor lobby, the fitness center and conference center, the multi-tenant floor elevator lobbies, and restrooms, elevator cabs, and garage entry and lobbies.
Stock & Associates
99 Blanchard Street, Seattle, WA 98121
About Stock & Associates
Stock & Associates was founded in 1996 and considers itself to be a cultivator of a highly communicative and collaborative work environment. It makes use of various technical disciplines among its highly-skilled staff and has in-depth experience with multiple project types, including higher education facilities, research and development laboratories, corporate interiors, office buildings, and residential projects. The firm is capable of taking on projects regardless of size. It is led by its namesake Bruce Stock, a licensed architect in both California and Washington who graduated from the University of Oregon. Before establishing Stock and Associates, Stock completed over 600k square feet of interior architecture for Nike. The firm’s commercial presence continues to grow in the Pacific Northwest, while its portfolio showcases a solid versatility and an impressive impact on the University of Washington’s gorgeous campus.
The Art Institute of Seattle hired Stock & Associates for a large scope of design services, including facilities evaluation and code analysis, space planning, signage design, interior design, and architectural services. They implemented remodels for the central administration offices, the student gallery, faculty offices, the gallery, the photography studios, and the Industrial design and Technology Program. The firm utilized a bright, boxy, professional design aesthetic and added in bold splashes and contemporary, artistic updates. The University of Washington teaching lab required serious renovation and used the undergraduate instructional lab for the Chemistry Department to cultivate progressive and inviting teaching space. Perforated metal service chases create a textured color splash, and student stations provide functionality with a backpack storage cabinet that rolls out to make a surface for laptops to keep them off the benchtop.
ULI Global Award for Excellence,
AIA Honor Award
925 Fourth Avenue, Suite 2400, Seattle, WA 97205
About ZGF Architects
ZGF has a versatile portfolio that encompasses new construction, renovations, and additions on multiple scales, both nationally and internationally. They value their ability to truly understand each client’s mission and to respond effectively to a site’s environmental, cultural, and physical realities. ZGF has played a big role in planning and policy-making to create the framework for notable public and private investments in communities around the world. Their large team of partners and principals includes AIA Fellow and LEED-certified architect Joe Collins, who has worked on innovative projects for various universities, and AIA member Toby Hasselgren, who has built an impressive portfolio of LEED Silver, LEED Gold, and LEED Platinum projects. The firm’s work has been featured in Healthcare Design Magazine and Architect Magazine, and they received an AIA Honor Award for the Stanford Central Energy Facility. They’ve been recognized by Fast Company for designs that connect people to nature, and they have offices in Seattle, Portland, New York, Vancouver, Los Angeles, and Washington DC.
The Seattle Children’s Hospital Cancer and Critical Care expansion required a cross-functional approach that could integrate the evaluation of existing care models and the experiences of current caregivers and family representatives into a model that would be more efficient and effective. The design implemented features that were able to triple the time caregivers could provide in-room treatment, from 26 percent to 76 percent. It also reduced caregiver travel distances by 80 percent, and supply search time by 90 percent. ZGF worked closely with Studio SC to create an environmental graphics program that features elements of nature and corresponding geographic hospital zones. The building is LEED Gold certified, and the expansion totals 330k square feet. King Street Station is an historic Seattle landmark and the renovation and rehabilitation process required skillful attention to detail and character. The 60k-square-foot station was first erected in 1906, and the renovation sought to implement seismic and electrical updates to better the building’s safety and performance, as well as comply with the city’s sustainable building standards and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Historic Preservation. Other sustainable design strategies integrated into the renovation included natural ventilation, a ground-source heat pump, and LED lights. The building is LEED Platinum certified