Last night, local developer Vulcan Inc. and architecture firm Graphite Design Group presented the third and last block of the new Google campus, that will be built in the city’s South Lake Union neighborhood, to Seattle’s West Design Review Board.
Stefan Riedl, the regional facilities manager for Google Inc. in Seattle, attended the evening’s meeting and addressed the board, saying, “We wanted to let you know that we are super excited about this project. We’ve collaborated with the project team and love the design, and look forward to your feedback. We’re working to keep to our timeline for occupancy and hope to move forward after tonight’s meeting.”
It’s an experience that we want to create; a memorable moment for people in a special Seattle pedestrian space, unlike the more public right-of-ways of sidewalks
Block 31 is the center block of the three-block project, called The Lakefront Blocks, located at 625 Boren Avenue North. The proposed mixed-use project includes two six-story structures of office space, with an eight-story residential tower above one of them, for a total of about 313,500 square feet of office space, 79 residential units and 7,950 square feet of retail space that wraps around the entire frontage along Terry Avenue. In addition to this, there will be 16,100 square feet of open space with the pier and boardwalk. This includes a through-block “woonerf,” a multi-colored glass tunnel that fills with natural sunlight during the day and will be lit at night, that will connect pedestrians from Terry Avenue North to Boren Avenue North at mid-block.
Upon receiving guidance from the board at the Early Design Meeting, lead project architect Peter Krech from Graphite Design Group re-presented the project to the board after making some recommended changes. These changes include redesigning the residential tower to have curved walls, in order to soften the tower’s exterior lines, as well as replacing service spaces on the ground floor with public spaces.
“As I’ve noted, this is really an inside-out building,” Krech said. “It’s an experience that we want to create; a memorable moment for people in a special Seattle pedestrian space, unlike the more public right-of-ways of sidewalks. We used the colors and atmosphere of the lake itself as a touchstone.”
Krech added that the finished design is the perfect response to a remarkable site. After deliberating, the board agreed that it was pleased with the finished product of the proposed project and gave a unanimous approval for it to move forward.
Once Vulcan breaks ground on Google’s new campus, it is anticipating to be finished by February 2019, according to Dupre + Scott Apartment Advisors. The finished campus will have approximately 638,000 square feet of office space, 150 residential units, 10,000 square feet of retail space and 788 parking stalls. The three-block campus rests along Lake Union’s waterfront.