Seattle-based LMN Architecture Brings Special Community Focus to WSCC Summit Expansion Project

Media Contacts:

Kauilani Robinson
(206) 461-5839
krobinson@visitseattle.org

Chantelle Lusebrink
(206) 461-5862
clusebrink@visitseattle.org

Seattle-based LMN Architecture Brings Special Community Focus to WSCC Summit Expansion Project

Project synopsis:
The Washington State Convention Center is the smallest convention center on the West Coast, and ranks #56 in size in the U.S. In the past five years, more than 350 event proposals were declined due to lack of space or timing constraints at the current facility, costing the region more than $2.13 billion in potential economic benefit.

When finished, the 1.5 million-square-foot Summit building addition is expected to drive more than 400,000 new conventioneers to the city and generate about $260 million in visitor spending and more than $19 million in tax revenue annually. During the three years of construction, nearly 6,000 family-wage jobs will be created in the region, and once open the facility will be supported by 3,900 new, ongoing jobs. Plus, as part of its public benefits package, the Convention Center will fund more than $93 million in community priorities including affordable housing, downtown open spaces, bike lanes and more.

The project also includes two adjacent blocks of mixed-use co-development to the north, planned as a 530,000-gross square foot office tower and a 385-unit residential tower, both rising over street-level podiums with retail opportunities.

Design philosophy:
The Summit building is located at the crossroads between more than seven of Seattle’s most iconic neighborhoods and touching four of its most prominent streets, the site positions the project to uniquely function as a connecting hub for multiple urban districts, redefining the long-anticipated mixed-use development zone north of the downtown retail core.

As a catalyst for revitalizing and re-connecting Seattle’s core neighborhoods, the successful integration of the WSCC Addition with its surroundings will be the basis for a rich and unique experience for delegates and residents alike, an experience that is unique to Seattle.

Occupying a full city block, the building engages the urban form at all of its 15 levels, from the underground service and exhibit areas, to the street, to the skyline. Each façade presents a highly interactive, transparent edge, blurring the boundaries of the site with the city context and the building program. Each program component embraces natural light and major spaces are connected vertically through the use of two large atriums.

A glass-enclosed stair along Pine Street positions the interior circulation patterns at the edge of the building, creating dramatic west-facing views to the Pike Place Market and Puget Sound, and broadcasts the energy of convention visitors. A broad street plaza at the corner of Pine and 9th Avenue collects the activity of local residents and visitors alike. Open air terraces on all levels, designed to accommodate a variety of events, look out to iconic views at the center of the Seattle experience.

The project also includes two adjacent blocks of mixed-use co-development towers to the north, planned as a 542,000 square foot office tower and a 404-unit residential tower. Both rise over street-level podiums with retail opportunities and sit above the convention center’s below-grade loading docks.  The project’s contributions to the public realm are as massive as its scale, navigating a diverse mix of public-private intersections while catering to the next generation of convention delegates with expectations of a rich, unique, urban experience.

Building statistics:

  • 252,156 square feet of exhibition space on two levels
  • 116,192 square feet of meeting rooms
  • 60,000 square feet of ballroom space
  • 250,000 square feet of parking and retail
  • Loading is accomplished below grade, adjacent to the exhibit hall, preserving the pedestrian focus of the site.
  • The project also includes two adjacent blocks of mixed-use co-development towers to the north:
  • 542,000 square foot office tower
  • 404-unit residential tower

Principal Architects

Seattle-based LMN Architecture is proud to lead a team of world-renowned architects – including Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) and New York City-based SHoP – during the construction process. The same team is also responsible for overseeing construction of the new 1,400,000-square-foot Hyatt Regency Seattle slated to open in late 2018.

About LMN Architecture: Over the course of three decades of planning convention centers, LMN has devoted its practice to transforming this facility type to create better cities and urban neighborhoods. We have developed a highly refined approach that melds comprehensive understanding of essential functional relationships with extensive analysis of cultural and environmental infrastructure. We seek to optimize the diversity of uses through architectural solutions— enhancing public activities, commercial enterprise and civic engagement. In our planning of each convention center facility, we synthesize the diverse needs and influences of functionality, urban context, user experience, operations and environmental sustainability. Through this approach we create visionary plans for facilities that are uniquely expressive of their particular program, site and community culture.

GGN is a landscape architecture firm based in Seattle and will oversee the all elements of the landscape design. GGN was founded in 1999 by Jennifer Guthrie, Shannon Nichol, and Kathryn Gustafson. Our firm’s 45 employees have backgrounds in landscape design, architecture, art, engineering, and ecology. GGN offers extensive experience in designing high-use landscapes in complex, urban contexts.

GGN is the recipient of the 2017 ASLA National Landscape Architecture Firm Award and the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Landscape Architecture in 2011. The firm’s project awards include ASLA National Awards of Excellence, ASLA and AIA Honor Awards for Design, Tucker Design Awards, Society for Campus and University Planning Awards, and Great Places Awards from the Environmental Design Research Association.

SHoP Architects will take on all elements of the co-development architecture projects. SHoP was founded twenty years ago in New York to harness the power of diverse expertise in the design of buildings and environments that improve the quality of public life. Our inclusive, open-minded process allows us to effectively address a broad range of issues in our work: from novel programmatic concepts, to next-generation fabrication and delivery techniques, to beautifully crafted spaces that precisely suit their functions. Years ago we set out to prove that intelligent, evocative architecture can be made with real-world constraints. Today, our interdisciplinary staff of 180 is implementing that idea at critical sites around the world. We are proud that our studio has been recognized with awards such as Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Architecture Firm in the World” in 2014, and the Smithsonian/Cooper Hewitt’s “National Design Award for Architecture” in 2009.

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