- Construction Manager/General Contractor:JTM Construction
- Civil Engineer/Shoring Design:Coughlin Porter Lundeen
- Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing Engineers:Syska Hennessy Group, The Rushing Group, Auburn Mechanical, Cochran, Hermanson Company
- Vertical Transportation:Edgett Williams Consulting Group
- Ownership:Daniels Real Estate, Stockbridge Real Estate
- Design Architect/Architect Of Record:ZGF Architects
- The Sanctuary/Hotel And Restaurant Architect:Phillippe Stark
- Historical Preservation Architect:Ron Wright & Associates
- Country:United States
Text description provided by the architects. In the design of a new commercial office tower and hotel in a downtown Seattle development, the owner held the rights to demolish a historically-significant church on the site, allowing for the development of a larger, half-block footprint. The emotional, cultural and historic significance of that church – a facility commissioned by Arthur Denny, founding father of the city of Seattle – motivated the client and parishioners to seek alternatives. The architects pursued a smaller building footprint, one that would preserver the historic sanctuary, promote pedestrian-activation of the city block, encourage density and smart urbanization. The church’s preservation and its incorporation into the new development would also yield a more sustainable solution for the site.
This shared commitment and sensitivity to context allowed not only for the church to restored for future community use, but to maintain the character and history of the block, which also includes the historic Rainer Club building.
A number of schemes were initially evaluated for the ability to integrate form, structure, function and sensitivity to the historic sanctuary. The team narrowed the field to three possibilities including curved, canted and faceted facades. A faceted scheme was selected and further developed to optimize building height, configuration and efficient floor plates, while responding to the owner’s vision for an iconic addition to downtown Seattle’s skyline.
The faceted scheme, with fewer lateral elements configured at open angles, draws the eye upward, increasing the vertical emphasis of the Tower. This scheme also offers subtle variation in plane from facet to facet: a soft expression which avoids overpowering the delicate detail and scale of the sanctuary and Rainier Club.
Amid a historic building boom in the city, the high-rise is distinguished by the exposed diagonal steel braces that divide the building’s planes. This faceted scheme is part of a structural system that shifts the load away from the core and to the exterior walls, eliminating view-obstructing elements like internal columns, and reducing core size to create more floor-plate efficiency. This resulted in open, configurable floorplates. The slender tower, with its unique architectural articulation, maximizes daylight exposure to the entire site.
With just 15,000 square feet available on level one of The Mark, floor area needed to expand on subsequent floors to maximize leasing potential. Through a joint development agreement with the Rainier Club, ‘over-under’ property rights are utilized. As a result, the tower subtly slopes over the existing historic structures – with the lower northwest corner cantilevering over The Sanctuary by more than 20 feet – before tapering back gently through a sequence of triangulated building planes.
A glass connector serves as a unique enclosed a transition between The Mark and historic sanctuary. The Mark reflects both adjacent high-rises and the historic buildings at its base – paying homage to Seattle’s past and present. After being sidelined by the Great Recession, development resumed in 2014. In 2017, with construction nearly complete, a major network technology company announced it would be leasing all 516,000 square feet of The Mark’s available office space beginning in 2019.