Graphite Design Group, the firm designing Amazon’s latest office building in Seattle presented their plans for an urban treehouse in Seattle’s Denny Triangle neighborhood.
Graphite is proposing a 17-story office building of about 405,000 square feet with an additional ground floor retail and below grade parking for about 405 vehicles.
Peter Krech, architect with Graphite, presented three options to the Seattle Design Review Board at an April 4 meeting at Seattle City Hall. In all three options, the design idea centered around a prominent, staggered staircase, located in the center of the building and visible from the exterior through glass panels. Their preferred option stresses the staircase focal point as well. The plan also calls for two retail spaces of 3,600 square feet and 3,900 square feet. Plans also call for bike storage, a locker room and lobby.
The staggered staircase idea for the office building mimics the traditional staircase design of a treehouse. The landscaping around the building will also play off the treehouse and woods feel, with trees and green space surrounding the office building. The group is proposing to create an outdoor green space, to correspond with the park across the street at another property. An idea they are interested in pursuing is a green wrap concept, which incorporates growing and tall plants around the base of the building and on various terraces as one climbs up the building.
When board members asked about the staggered staircase design, architects described it as a Jenga-like quality serving as a functional piece of architecture for tenant use as well as something visually appealing to the neighborhood and those passing by. Krech said part of the idea of the staircase climbing up the building is to make it more inviting for tenants to use over an elevator.
Plans for the 38,000 square foot site for which Amazon paid $19.2 million call for the demolition of two existing structures on the property, one being an old 39,260 square foot motel built in 1958 and the other, the former home of Seattle’s bike-sharing program Pronto, which had its last ride on Friday, March 31.