West Seattle native Jim Whittaker was the first North American to summit Mt. Everest in 1963. He was the first employee of hometown outdoor company REI, and later served as its first CEO. His life’s motto, then and now: “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.” His incredible life and vibrant personality was the natural inspiration for the interior design of The Whittaker.
Pacific Northwest inspired materials—Douglas Fir, river rock--pair with rich, muted tones of olive, rust, and iron; the harmonious interior embraces residents the same way a mountaintop lodge might after a long, snowy climb.
The light-filled, double-height south lobby is open and airy; its vertical-cable open stair leads to an upper level wine bar and lounge, which overlooks the lobby and the surrounding neighborhood.
To promote connection with the outdoors, the project also features a state-of-the-art fitness center, bike repair kitchen, pet wash, and storage for outdoor gear such as tents, skis, and kayaks. The north building features a rooftop clubroom with large multi-level deck with unparalleled views over the city and sound, with adjacent lounge, kitchen, and gaming areas inside. And the building’s podium-level courtyard features a thoughtfully designed indoor/outdoor mix of seating areas, “campfire” pit, outdoor movie area, water features, and the courtyard glass and steel “jewelbox” structure, offering a full kitchen, dining area, and lounge area with folding walls to bring the outdoors in.
Furnishings throughout the building evoke a timeless mid-century, quality, the era during which Jim Whittaker became a pioneer in the outdoor recreation industry. It’s not a replication of the past, but rather a mix of natural materials and modern detailing that lives up to its namesake.