Turning the traditional notion of a corporate headquarters inside out
Waterfront sites are often prominent ones. When an international clothing manufacturer needed a US headquarters they selected the Miller Hull Partnership because they wanted the project be ‘iconic’ yet ‘approachable’. The 100,000 square foot Youngone Headquarters sits at the base of a steep hillside on the beach overlooking Elliott Bay and the downtown skyline. A breezeway and stair splits the lower three floors of the project providing pedestrian access through the site and opening up dramatic views of Elliott Bay, the Cascade Mountains and the downtown core. The process of descending the stair and moving through the building with ever expanding skyline views provides a dramatic and memorable passage from the forest to the water’s edge. A multi-floor restaurant space anchors the north side of the breezeway while ground floor commercial bays extend to the south. Above the commercial bays is a manufacturing floor for the design and prototyping of new products. The manufacturing floor is connected vertically to design studios, corporate offices and conference spaces. The top three floors of the project are a mix of residential apartments and smaller office suites.
The design team early on recognized the importance of the lush, verdant hillside as a compliment to broad city skyline views. In order to establish a true sense of place on this site, one should be able to appreciate both the forest and city simultaneously. The breezeway and stair-climb literally bring the hillside—and the public experience of the hillside—right through the building to Harbor Avenue.
Architect of Record: Rhodes Architecture + Light
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