Northlake Commons

A mass timber, laboratory-ready office building has found its home on the north shores of Lake Union. Situated on Dunn Lumber’s original lumber yard, the design pays homage to the site’s history while looking to the future of workplace environments and the neighborhood.

Client Name

Hess Callahan Grey Group

Location

Seattle, WA

Services

Architecture
Landscape Architecture
Urban Space Design
Core & Shell Interior Design
Graphic Design

Project Overview

5 Story Mass Timber Building
63,018 SF Site
275,000 GSF
163,000 SF Office/Lab
21,000 SF Warehouse
3,200 SF Dunn Retail Showroom
8,600 SF Retail/Restaurants
64,500 SF Outdoor Space
165 Parking Stalls
200 Bicycle Stalls

LEASING INFORMATION
Certifications

LEED CS Platinum 

Completion Date

Q1 2024

awards

Gold Nugget Awards
2024 Merit Award Winner Best Commercial Project

Contacts

Kristen Scott
Principal in Charge

Rachael Meyer
Landscape Architecture Principal

Services

Weber Thompson provided architecture, landscape architecture, core and shell interior design, and graphic design services for this innovative project in Seattle, WA.

completed project photography: MEGHAN MONTGOMERY/BUILT WORK PHOTOGRAPHY, construction photography: ed sozinho, RENDERings: Weber Thompson; panoramic views: Motiv

Northlake Commons Architecture

The design of Northlake Commons draws inspiration from the experience of being deep within the woods of the Pacific Northwest. Here, one finds the distinct layers of a forest – the forest floor, the understory and the canopy – conceptually represented through built form.

Photo of two people walking through a terrace in the open space of northlake commons. they are surrounded by the towering timber columns

Health and wellness

With more than 60,000SF of outdoor terrace and deck space, Northlake Commons recognizes the human desire for a connection to nature. The biophilic design concept of being in a forest is expressed at every scale of design from massing to details. The windows and outdoor spaces orient views toward Lake Union and downtown, and operable windows throughout provide ample fresh air and thermal control to the building occupants.

Photo of the interior of northlake commons with the expressed steel beams showing in contrast with the mass timber with the sun beaming through

Lab-ready office expressed in mass timber

The building embodies the character of a high performance lab-ready office building, while celebrating the timber history of the original Dunn family business located on this street from 1931 to today. The primary structural system is cross-laminated timber (CLT), glu-laminated columns and girders. Steel Buckling-Restrained Braced Frames are a key component of the lateral system, and are expressed in contrast to the timber structure.

Latona at North Lake Union 3D model

Embracing design technology

The use of 3D printers and crafted virtual reality experiences has allowed the team to quickly explore design options and evaluate how they best fulfill the project goals. To be able to view the printed models as an external perspective while being able to transport inside for internal VR experiences creates a holistic image of what the architecture is to become.

Northlake Commons Landscape Architecture

This ambitious full-block project includes major pedestrian and bike trail connections, sweeping views of Lake Union and downtown Seattle, stormwater treatment and a central public plaza.

Photo of people walking up the stairs at northlake commons to the burke gilman trail on a sunny day

Plaza for the people

Northlake Commons’ public plaza is a one-of-a-kind open space at the north end of Lake Union. The team has forged a new type of partnership with the Seattle Parks Department in order to create a unique amenity. An exaggerated setback between the property and the adjacent Burke Gilman Trail includes tiered seating and access to retail and café spaces. Historically, private development has not been allowed on public lands, but thanks to this new partnership, the design team can go beyond the boundaries of the site to simultaneously give back to the community and enhance the project’s overall impact.

Photo of cyclists riding on the burke gilman trail in front of northlake commons on a sunny day

A cyclist’s dream

A bike tire air station and water station are provided in the plaza; cyclists will appreciate the easy on/off connections to the award-winning Burke Gilman Trail. This former rail line is now one of the region’s most popular biking trails, with thousands of daily commuters and leisure cyclists using it. A pathway branches off the trail and leads directly into the building’s entry lobby, where the building’s amenities further support a bike-friendly lifestyle.

Latona at North Lake Union by Lake Union

Protecting our shoreline

The building is set back from the southern site edge so our precious shoreline can be preserved and improved with green stormwater infrastructure. An impressive 2.6 million gallon regional stormwater treatment facility, integrated onsite, filters runoff from the lower Wallingford neighborhood before it flows into Lake Union. This effort is a meaningful step towards cleaning our region’s waterways, which are critical for the salmon and marine life that call them home.

Sustainability

Northlake Commons is LEED Core & Shell v4.0 Platinum certified. Health and wellness of the building occupants is paramount, especially through strategies of fresh air, daylight, and connection to the outdoors. The mass timber structural system has a lighter footprint than other structural alternatives; a Life Cycle Assessment of the embodied carbon in the timber shows the mass timber structure avoided 2,500 metric tons of CO2e, creating a 23% savings when compared to a concrete structure baseline. The building also features an efficient envelope and mechanical system and efficient plumbing and irrigation.

Northlake Commons in the News

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