When Expedia announced nearly two years ago that it would move it’s headquarters from Bellevue to Seattle’s Elliott Bay waterfront, it was not only looking for new office space where it would continue its growth, but it was also looking to bring a new life to a part of the city that has so far not seen its share of renewal.
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ), along with Studios Architecture and PWP Landscape Architecture, are working on the Expedia headquarters, according to BCJ’s website. “What we heard from Expedia was the importance of making a place that represents their values and showcases who they are as a travel and technology company,” said Peter Bohlin, founding principal of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in a release when the plans first debuted. “Our design focuses on shaping an environment for people that promotes collaboration and innovation and provides the company with a design that celebrates the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. This is evident in every aspect of the campus, from its landscape to the transparent architecture, strengthening the connection to the water and mountains beyond.”
According to plans submitted to and approved by the city of Seattle, Expedia’s new campus will consist of 15 buildings with 1,194,592 square feet of office space in Phase I and 2,671 parking spaces. Architects will also create a new, large landscaped courtyard. A new 600,000 square foot, four-story building will encircle the courtyard. It will contain an entrance lobby, conference center and workspace, along with a number of other activities. “Inspired by the idea of marking the experience of arrival and entry to campus, BCJ’s design begins with an approach through a treeline entrance drive that culminates in an elliptical landscaped courtyard,” states BCJ’s website. The courtyard is about 300 feet in diameter and will allow for a range of activities as well as visitor arrival and drop off, outdoor meetings and recreation.
But the heart of the campus is the Nexus, a four-story atrium located between the new building and the first of the repurposed former lab building in the Amgen campus. The Nexus will accommodate multiple activities including company meetings, dining, special events and socializing.
Plans also call for the repurposing of existing laboratory buildings. Those will be repurposed into new open workspaces, and the areas between them will become an enclosed atrium, bridged together by the new and repurposed buildings. An existing public access bridge and three public areas, along with a parking structure will remain on the site as part of Expedia’s plans.
“Working to conceptualize and ultimately bring to life Expedia’s permanent home in Seattle has been an exciting journey since we announced our plans to move last April,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, president and chief executive officer, Expedia, Inc. in a release. “Although these are early designs, we are very excited about the direction our campus is heading and feel that it brings together all that we are – a leading technology company revolutionizing the world of travel with deep roots in the Pacific Northwest. This will be an environment that will help us retain and build a world-class team of diverse, talented and passionate employees as we continue to grow.”
The plan will allow for Expedia to expand its campus as it grows overtime. Expedia is working on the project in three phases that will take until 2031 to complete. With the full build-out, the new campus would include 1,950,481 square feet of space with 3,300 parking stalls. Plans would also include bicycle parking for 500 bikes. It’s assumed that the building will be able to house 8,000 employees once complete, according to plans submitted to the city.
With Expedia moving its operations and employees across the lake, transportation in commuting its workers is essential. The company plans to reduce its peak single-occupancy vehicle trips to and from campus to 49 percent by the time Phase I opens in 2019 through new initiatives. The company already has a number of transportation options for its employees including subsidized carpool and vanpool parking, free ORCA passes for all employees and an onsite commute coordinator to help employees with different options. Expedia plans to launch a pilot shuttle program as well.
But before Expedia can begin to bring these plans to life, the company has to wait at least 21 days from the date it filed, May 23rd, to allow for anyone to appeal the decision.