Text description provided by the architects. At 30 years old, Two Union Square remains a one-of-a-kind and significant icon in the Seattle skyline. To meet the rapidly-changing business needs of the city’s most innovative tenants — and adapt to the evolving nature of work that is moving beyond designated offices into community spaces like lobbies — the project team repositioned all of the public spaces in Two Union Square to create a design that is boldly current, incorporates design complexity in fabrication techniques and is centered on the human experience.
The original firm that designed the building set out to restore a unified narrative of Two Union Square — its past, present and future. While the building defined the architecture of the region and of the era, in the three decades since its completion, a series of incremental, disparate modifications resulted in a lack of spatial continuity and underutilized public spaces. In 2015, the building owner issued a design brief that called for a bold, new vision that embodied the evolving organizational and cultural needs of a mobile workforce. Given Seattle’s meteoric growth as a high-tech hub, it was critical to leverage distinct attributes of the building, primarily: The grand staircase arriving at the main lobby and fractured stone installation; the fireplace lobby with a skylight oculus and connecting retail court; the landscaped cascading courtyard
A sense of intimacy is not easy to accomplish in a 56-story building, yet Two Union achieves this by the modulation and scale of the program elements. The integration of lighting systems, access to daylight and views to the landscape contribute to the overall feeling of wellbeing.
The grand staircase that arrives at the fractured stone wall installation creates a pivotal moment of pause — a place for tenants and visitors alike to take a quiet moment out of their day and reflect. Meanwhile, the enclosed elevator lobbies feature lowered wood clad canopy ceilings punctuated with full north-south views to the exterior.
The large scale textural moves and neutral yet impactful coloration and tonality throughout the project creates a welcoming, refined environment. Each space was envisioned as a social landmark through the tenant’s perspective — agile venues for collaboration, one-off meetings, and respite — all of which are centered on the human experience.