As we explore the future of workspaces, office redevelopment and repositioning projects across the country are experimenting with new design concepts. One such venture is the recently unveiled renovation project of 800 Fifth in downtown Seattle.

Here, EQ Office invested in a work environment that reflects the evolving needs of the company and also recognizes broader trends of what the future role of the physical office might be on the other side of the current pandemic. Specifically, the project sought to incorporate wellbeing, while also stimulating creativity, collaboration and community. Moreover, the design intends to take full advantage of the building’s location by maximizing exposure and access to the outdoors, which will blur the traditional office lines between private and public spaces and make for a more unified experience. Work on this reimagined downtown Seattle office space is scheduled for completion in mid-2022.

“Seattle is an incredibly active and tight-knit community, and we wanted 800 Fifth to support the needs of local talent and underscore the ethos and values of the people who make this a distinctive city,” said Zach Zaborowski, vice president at EQ Office. “We sought out a unique design approach and partnered with Olson Kundig to sustainably give our building a new life, introducing natural materials and home-like indoor and outdoor spaces.”

Plans put forward by Olson Kundig promise a design-forward experience with ample fitness, wellness and social amenities, conceived with human-scaled sensibility. For instance, abundant natural light, integrated artwork and custom detailing all work together to create a setting of intimacy similar to the best living rooms. Meanwhile, white oak, exposed steel and suspended lantern lighting complement customized bookcases to echo interior elements of a focus-friendly home. Likewise, flexible spaces for social gathering will transition smoothly throughout the property from the interior to the outdoor courtyard, where a series of spaces for community and small group uses are carefully crafted into all-seasons focal points.

“Previously, you were meant to be a little in awe — a bit intimidated — when you walked into a high-rise building,” said Kirsten Ring Murray, FAIA, design principal at Olson Kundig. “With this repositioning effort, we’re humanizing 800 Fifth, building on the sense of the space as a hive of activity, a place with its own distinct vibe. Instead of a place that’s overpowering, it becomes somewhere you feel welcome to stay, to have a meal, to gather and collaborate.”

800 Fifth, at 800 Fifth Avenue in downtown Seattle (property image courtesy of CommercialEdge)