Home News Releases Seattle Office Raises to New Heights with the Completion of Cornish Commons

Seattle Office Raises to New Heights with the Completion of Cornish Commons

The Seattle office of Howard S. Wright, a Balfour Beatty company, celebrated the opening of the new Cornish Commons residence hall at Cornish College of the Arts, that allows students to live, learn, create, work, and play within steps of other campus facilities in South Lake Union in Seattle. The event marks the completion of a complex, fast-track (18-month) urban solution that is Cornish’s first ground-up project since 1921. Delivered in the spirit of integrated project delivery, the team worked closely with the public-private partnership of Cornish College and Capstone Development Partners, and with design-build partner Ankrom Moisan Architects, to deliver a unique campus-housing solution that further enhances Cornish College and downtown Seattle.

With any educational project, the critical element was schedule – the project had to be open for the start of the 2015 school year. Early entitlements and site configuration challenges forced our Seattle team to develop an aggressive schedule – executing a seven-day cycle, placing concrete for both horizontal decks and vertical walls, and columns on the same day. Through detailed execution plans and hour-by-the-hour scheduling, the team was able to recover over seven weeks on the schedule and deliver the project on time.

Targeting LEED® Gold certification, the 20-story, 157,623-square-foot high-rise building solves the long time need for permanent housing for Cornish students. This state-of-the-art building features 20,618 square feet of offices, classrooms, studios and student “living rooms” on the bottom three floors. The 7,064-square-foot 20th floor is dedicated to resident amenities such as fitness, a community kitchen and lounge, laundry and sky deck embracing amazing views of downtown Seattle. With 16 floors of student residences, the building houses 408 beds in 224 student rooms and four staff apartments. City University of Seattle has partnered with Cornish College to lease residences on multiple floors for its students. Cornish College of the Arts was founded in 1914 by Nellie Cornish, a woman determined to cultivate the arts in Seattle. Today, Cornish College offers both full-time and summer students major fields of study in art, dance, design, film/media, music, performance production and theater, in addition to providing meeting and performance space for dozens of local nonprofit arts organizations.