Graphite Sustainability Initiative- The Design Strategy


20201201 Lakefront B37 View 02

Drawing inspiration from the history of Lake Union and the materiality of wooden structures, the project takes on the form of two boats facing the lake. Rooted in the sustainable aspirations, the concept of building a vessel for performance becomes a strong metaphor for the project. Using Lake Union as a focal point, two architectural shells elevate and rotate, bows facing the Lake, providing separate facade designs. While the port and starboard sides have subtly adjusting views through solar controlling “fins” resembling rib structures, the stern and bow provide a brise soleil style solar control and floor to head transparency for the northern facade.

The two shells are then connected at the southern and northern ends providing a “race-track” for office circulation and planning. At the center of these multi-tiered pathways of connection under and through the building are active retail, restaurant, and bike facilities, elevators stairs and drop offs. Transitional environments are created providing the user with access to the outdoors. Places like the northern plaza and boardwalk on Valley Street, podium level central forest between the towers, or greenhouse bridges above. With historical and regional context as drivers, the building and site compositions partner with passive and active environmental systems, all tailored to provide a high degree of environmental performance with aesthetic interest.