Seattle Civic Square is a truly mixed-use development aimed at establishing a new urban heart in downtown Seattle. A large public plaza with retail shops, an office tower and residential condominiums are woven together into an engaging landmark with an active public space, lively retail and entertainment, art and landscape features, and places for people to work and live. Located across the street from City Hall on the last block in the Civic Center Master Plan, the development will set a new standard for mixed-use, high-rise buildings in the northwest.
The design was developed through an international collaboration of GGLO with design architect Foster + Partners (London, UK), design landscape architect Atelier Dreiseitl (Uberlingen, Germany), and engineers Arup (London, UK and Seattle).
The dramatic plaza facing City Hall flows down the slope with sinuously curving forms that create multiple spaces that accommodate a wide variety of events. A central amphitheater will provide a focal point for performances and large community gatherings, while smaller areas, surrounding by water sculptures are covered by trees and provide visitors with relaxing places to linger. The plaza is surrounded by retail shops and a public market, providing lively activity throughout the course of the day. Below the site a new transit station provides access to the plaza and tower from the Metro Light Rail system via escalators that emerge from below dynamic, new public art.
Visitors arriving in downtown Seattle will be greeted by a dramatic green wall that steps down the length of James Street. Artfully lit and planted with a lush pattern, the green wall will be a gateway landmark for downtown. Additionally, the roofs of the retail pavilion buildings will be covered by green roofs, parts of which will be accessible to the public for strolling or for watching the plaza below. Parking is located below the plaza.
A 525’ tall tower located on the north portion of the block will stand as a sleek and sophisticated landmark, visible from Elliot Bay, framing the downtown skyline. With its slim profile and crystalline skin, the Seattle Civic Square tower bridges the gap in scale and form between the historic Smith Tower and the taller buildings in the downtown core. The design for the tower includes retail shops with multi-story glazing at its base, back-lit with a glowing onyx wall. A “great room” space at the plaza level creates direct links to public spaces. The tower will provide 600,000 square feet of commercial office space on its lower twenty-three floors.
The upper portion of the tower is to accommodate 150 residential units, all with spectacular views from floor-to-ceiling windows. A residential amenity level at Floor 24 will provide a dramatic, sheltered green roof and residential multi-purpose space. At night, the distinctive glass-wall roof will be lit with colors reflecting seasons and important local events.
Seattle Civic Square is targeting LEED® Gold upon completion. Sophisticated mechanical and energy management systems, combined with storm water capture and reuse, green-eco-roofs and drought-resistant planting, and on-site multi-modal transit provided are just part of a comprehensive approach to sustainable design.