- Sustainable Architecture
- New offices of Cushing Terrell studio in Seattle
Cushing Terrell is a multi-disciplinary design firm founded in 1938 in Montana. Over almost a century, the firm has grown considerably with more than 450 employees in 13 offices across the United States. The Cushing Terrell Seattle team moved out of the Lower Queen Anne neighbourhood in June, joining other firms committed to reoccupying and revitalising downtown Seattle. Finding a place to house their growing staff also allowed them to adapt to the change from the post-COVID-19 pandemic expectations of a workplace.
Led by Associate Director Chris Aageson, the team thus moved into the Agen Warehouse building, also known as the 1201 Western Building. It is a former warehouse located in the heart of the Seattle Waterfront, an area undergoing growth and redevelopment.
Built in 1910 by John B. Agen, it was designed by John Graham Sr. and David J. Myers, with later additions designed by Graham alone. Completely restored in 1986 to accommodate industrial, office, retail and penthouse additions, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on 23 January 1998.
Crushing Terrell's new workspaces, over 360 square metres, are located on the seventh floor, the penthouse, and enjoy a fantastic view of the waterfront and the Olympic Mountains, which can also be admired from the beautiful 110 square metre terrace. The effect is the result of the removal of some dividing walls. Not surprisingly, the colour and material inspirations for the interior design refer to the shades and textures of the Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest coast.
On the other hand, the new office layout aims to emphasise collaboration and the dynamics between people, for example, by introducing an open kitchen and dining room where there used to be small private offices. Adjacent to this area is the design workshop, accessible through large sliding glass doors.
To minimise the environmental impact and expense, Cushing Terrell has obviously paid particular attention to the reuse and the responsible disposal of the materials and objects present. Thus, some cabinets were kept and repainted to match the new desks, and the large old conference table was relocated to one of the meeting rooms. As the architects recount, other items were redistributed throughout the neighbourhood through resale or donation, while material samples were returned to local manufacturers. These are all gestures made to reduce waste, so much so that the interior design also includes objects salvaged from elsewhere, such as the dining table, rescued from a disused showroom closed during the pandemic. The work chairs were made from reclaimed oceanic plastic, while a carpet, Living Product Challenge certified and made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles, characterises the dining room.
The entire design process occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic and impacted the project. Knowing that the pandemic had changed and would continue to change how we use offices, it was ensured, by design, that this recovered space could support the team's new way of working, between smart working and face-to-face meetings.
We can affirm that Cushing Terrell's new Seattle office is a worthy calling card for this multi-disciplinary firm, thanks above all to its careful work and respect for the preexistence and the environment.
Project: Cushing Terrell
Location: Seattle, US
Images: Mark Woods Photography