In gray Seattle, sometimes you have to find light within. Specifically, inside the 29-story 520 Olson Kundig refreshed for Tishman Speyer’s 1,000 workplace tenants. “Creating a light-filled space drove every decision we made,” says Kirsten Murray, FAIA, a principal and owner of Olson Kundig.
The first clue can be found, appropriately enough, at the entrance. It is announced by a white steel canopy that shines in stark relief against a stacked bond pattern of Shanxi Black Granite cladding, accessorized with Brombal stainless steel doors and storefront, and bog oak custom door pulls.
Inside, walls are clad in five different sizes of solid poplar panels, installed in varying patterns by the local manufacturer, WW Wells Millwork. Seating pays homage to the mountains and forests beyond the city limits, capturing the natural beauty of the Northwest. “I like the degree of subtle textures we were able to explore—glass, wood grains, stone veining—within what is a monochromatic color palette,” Murray says. As usual, Olson Kundig is full of bright ideas.