Federal Center South Building 1202 is the “redevelopment” of an existing warehouse (Building 1202) located at Federal Center South in Seattle. The project is the result of the confluence of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which focused on improving our nation’s infrastructure and creating jobs, and the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Design Excellence program which focuses on selecting design teams that will push boundaries and generate innovation in design of the nation’s federal buildings. With aggressive mandates for reuse and energy-performance, Building 1202 transforms a 4.6 acre brownfield site into a highly flexible and sustainable 209,000 SF regional headquarters for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Northwest District.
The integrated design solution sets a new standard for high-performance, cost-effective, and sustainable workplace environments. The project was planned and designed in under 18 weeks via a design-build competition in order to guarantee the performance-based contract that met GSA’s construction budget, energy performance goals, and an aggressive design and construction schedule.
The “oxbow” design creates an open, collaborative workplace environment for the USACE, emblematic of their mission of “Building Strong.” The building’s form—reflecting the natural oxbows in the adjacent Duwamish Waterway—provides measurable energy-performance benefits and is both functional and flexible to accommodate the USACE’s nearly constantly changing team-based work. The indoor campus environment enhances the concept of creating a collective community and identity by centralizing all common services and conferencing within the “commons” or social heart of the building. Timber reclaimed from the existing non-historic 1202 warehouse on the site is a focal point of the commons. Reclaimed timber bridges and stairs throughout the atrium connect people across the building, and are strategically located adjacent to informal seating and touchdown work surfaces to encourage communication and collaboration. The shared communal space has become an important connective tissue between departments that were previously dispersed in “silos.”
Every major aspect of the building is designed to create a high-performance interior environment that establishes a new modern and sustainable workplace standard. At the same time, the project regenerates a blighted site, breathing new life into the Federal Center South campus. An appropriate building footprint and an environmentally responsible approach to siting and materials makes strides toward repairing and restoring the fabric of the Duwamish shoreline.
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