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Proposal to Expand Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Building in South Lake Union Backed by Design Review Board

ZGF Architects, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Lake Union, Design Review Board
Image Credit: ZGF Architects

By Meghan Hall

A proposal submitted by ZGF Architects on behalf of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) to expand its current facilitates at 825 Eastlake Ave. E. by nine stories and 252,026 square feet was unanimously approved by the West Design Review Board at the end of November 2018. Part of the greater Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center campus in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, the project’s aim, according to planning documents, is to expand the current treatment capabilities of the clinic and enhance it services.

The project team wants “to create an iconic space that embodies hope, uplifts the spirit and inspires all who seek the cure and care of cancer patients,” said the planning documents.

The addition would build upon the current seven story facility, connecting to its west side and filling out the remainder of the block. The current site is located at the southeast corner of the research campus, and the proposed project would demolish two existing two-story buildings to make room for the expansion. Six levels of below-grade parking are also included in the project plans.

The design of the expansion continues upon the curve of the existing building in order to preserve views to Lake Union and create a landmark building on the Fred Hutch campus. The South façade of the center will feature a terracotta frame, and its stepped, rectilinear form was designed to connect with the surrounding buildings. A larger setback at the base of the building for the first two levels on the west façade provides additional modulation in response to previous board comments at an early design guidance meeting regarding the original building’s simple façades.

Image Credit: ZGF Architects

The exterior palette for the building will be composed of a combination of gray metal panels, brick and two different colors of terracotta tile. Spandrel glass, vision glazing and brushed stainless steel will also be used.

Overall, the design review board was supportive of the design of the development and had few critiques. The board applauded the design team’s concept development, believing the new building would be a successful and compatible addition to the existing campus. The board also liked the curved building corner as it integrates into the existing structure’s curved entry and creates open amenity space on the north side of the building. The full landscaping and large stairs that created just one of the four entrances to the building were also appreciated.

The board’s main recommendation asked the design team to glaze the glass of the northwest façade to create a cleaner look. Provided that the development team uses the glazing to insure the windows are installed as requested, the board unanimously recommended the approval of the project, which will move forward through the Master Use Permitting process in the coming months.