Seattle reopens to visitors with cool, sustainable spaces
Visitors to the Emerald City may find some new surprises as our region reawakens from the pandemic. Two of the Seattle area’s most prominent public spaces — SeaTac Airport and the Seattle Convention Center — are being enhanced in stunning, sustainable fashion.
The updates at the airport are part of the C Concourse expansion, a project that will add 145,530 square feet of dining and retail space for passengers to enjoy. The architectural style and décor was inspired by the Pacific Northwest region itself and will feature eye-catching geometric Douglas Fir timber designs. The timbers will be sculpted into complex curves that encompass part of the ceiling, a mezzanine level and various seating areas.
In addition to the woodwork, the C Concourse expansion will create room for a prayer and meditation area, a new airline lounge and seating areas surrounding a central marketplace and busker stage for local musicians.
Other sustainable features of the project include a roof-based solar array, energy-efficient heating and smart glass glazing on the windows to maximize natural light and reduce solar heat gain. The project is set to begin in 2023 and be completed by 2027.
But while visitors may have a while to wait before the airport project is completed, the Washington State Convention Center’s Summit Building is nearing completion. This project is billed as the first high-rise convention center in North America, and occupies four blocks downtown, comprising 1.5 million square feet.
The Summit Building features many flexible spaces, including a 100,000-square-foot hall that can be used for everything from single large shows to concurrent visitor and community events. Drivers on I-5 may have already noticed the building’s southeast corner that cantilevers over the highway.
Inside, the building includes a 200-foot-tall atrium made with sustainable, local materials. Salvaged wood is a focal point in the design, including over 20 art pieces and installations.
The project also includes two mixed-use towers: a 540,000-square-foot office tower and a 400-unit residential tower. Between the towers, the development offers 36,000 square feet of retail space and 16,000 square feet of public open space.
In addition to the convention center expansion and the towers, the project also includes benefits to the wider community, such as affordable housing, public art, public open space and infrastructure improvements for pedestrian, bicycle, and transit.