Gensler Offices – Seattle

Gensler's newly expanded Seattle office features a design focused on collaboration and creativity, with a neutral and raw palette backdrop, multiple touch-down areas, social spaces, and personal-sized areas with lower lighting levels to accommodate a variety of work preferences.

  • Client Gensler,
  • size 15,000 sqft
  • Year 2022
  • Location Seattle, Washington, United States,
  • Industry Architecture Firm,
  • Gensler designed their expanded office space in Seattle, Washington.

    The Gensler Seattle Office has been located at 1200 6th Avenue since 2008 – nestled within the calming tree canopy of Freeway Park. As the office continued to grow and expand over the years, it went through multiple design iterations including the most recent acquirement and redesign of the entire fifth floor.

    The team initially designed and documented a complete renovation of the 15,000 SQ FT space, but the unexpected pandemic turned their plans upside down. New ways of working and fiscal responsibilities required reimagining the overall strategy. With limited resources, the team saw an opportunity for a more resilient approach — instead of demolishing the entire floor, new space types and functionalities were thoughtfully integrated while minimizing environmental impact.

    Workshop Energy
    Technology also plays a critical role by simplifying conference room booking and providing LED screens for the best possible hybrid work experience, allowing attendees to participate equally whether in person or virtually.

    High ceilings and windows lining the perimeter of the office allow for ample natural light and 360-degree views of downtown Seattle, as well as Freeway Park which hugs the south and east sides of the building offering a natural and peaceful vista among the trees. A color palette of cool and earthy hues reflects a true Pacific Northwest vibe, while the Gensler brand is visible throughout, embedded in the experience through an inclusive, playful, environmental graphics and signage program. An abundance of green plants dispersed throughout the office help bring the outside in, providing a biophilic element to the space. The bright and airy environment is complemented by meeting, lounge, and personal-sized areas that have lower lighting levels to provide choice for a variety of preferences, key for the neurodiversity of our staff.

    Multiple touch-down areas double as impromptu gathering spaces that encourage employees to connect with teammates throughout the day. Social areas double as work points and conference rooms flex in functionality, including adapting from a training room to a conference room to a bookable team suite. The teams can transform their surroundings at will, resulting in the most creative atmosphere possible for the task at hand. Thoughtfully designed areas emphasizing collaboration are evident in multiple Lounges, a Model Shop, and Podcast Booth, while well-being and private spaces include a Wellness Room, Mothers Room, and individual phone booths. Additional features include individually assigned lockers providing space where staff can store the items that they need to be effective at the office and ease the commute burden.

    This renovation presented the opportunity to experiment with workplace design for a diverse and creative group with a variety of workstyles. It centers on creating a canvas that showcases the work and creative process through a neutral and raw palette as a backdrop, while conveying a spirit of experimentation of makers and builders.

    Intersection of work, culture, and resilience
    Gensler Seattle’s work, culture, and commitment to resilience are palpable from the moment one steps into the office. In keeping with the Workshop concept, Gensler’s Brand team created wheatpasted posters of sketches, screenshots, and musings that line the entry walls. Continuously evolving over time, the walls provide a snapshot of the office culture at any moment and keep the space fresh at low cost. Recyclable cardboard became the material of choice for code and wayfinding signage, with simple braille tape that further reinforces the theme and minimized carbon.

    Resiliency was a key driver from the inclusion of net-positive embodied carbon branding and signage throughout the office to materials and furniture repurposed from Gensler’s previous office spaces. Anything new to the space was added with sustainability in mind, as well as with an emphasis placed on supporting small and BIPOC-owned businesses.

    Designed with resilience top of mind, the Gensler Seattle office is the first Gensler office to achieve the highest three-star Fitwel certification. Out of all the Fitwel registered projects in the world, only 26 are from the United States with only two currently in Washington State (one of which is Gensler Seattle).

    Design: Gensler
    Gensler Team: Susana Covarrubias, Lisa Morgenroth, Savanna Barker, Asami Choe, Mariah Osland, Steve Nordland, Lewis Chu, Darrell Ansay, Jennifer Galvin, Kylie Kusleika, Karen Temple, Chris Nelson, Zhifei Cheng, Zoe Xu, Ree Hamai, Jacob Simons, Garima Gupta, Alyson McPhee, Ellie Damashek, Meaghan Beever, Franci Virgili, Ryan Collier, Krista Reeder, Jared Price, Peter Muller, Becca Beswick
    Contractor: Dovetail General Contractors
    Furniture: objekts
    Photography: Heywood Chan