Skanska and Pickard Chilton have released details of a new-build Class-A office tower for downtown Seattle, designed for the Samis Foundation. Skanska approached the Samis Foundation three years ago with a proposal for the organisation’s Second and University (2&U) properties, with talks escalating into the vision of a new office development.
Executive Vice President for Skanska USA Commercial Development in Seattle Lisa Picard explains: “The location of 2&U is really at the seam of our city. We want to create a fresh and compelling experience between the waterfront and the rest of downtown that invigorates the work environment for companies having, or seeking, an address in the core.”
Following a ‘design hack-a-thon’, Connecticut-based architecture firm Pickard Chilton was selected from seven competing firms to lead the design process, having suggested a contextual form that resonated with original vision of Skanska and the Samis Foundation.
The concept design offers 725,000 sq ft of leasable space with an active ground floor incorporating retail units, restaurants and elements of public space. Riven through with pedestrian passages, the porous nature of the building references a tree canopy, with a ‘forest-like base’ and weather protection from above.
William Chilton, Principal at Pickard Chilton, said: “We share Skanska’s aspirations for 2&U and are looking forward to working with the neighbourhood to create a new and welcoming communal destination representative of the region’s unique character.”