AKA: WaMu Tower #1, Downtown, Seattle, WA; 1201 3rd Avenue Office Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), Architects (firm); KPFF Consulting Engineers (firm); Mahlum and Nordfors, Architects (firm); McKinley Architects, PSC (firm); McKinley Gordon, Architects (firm); Wright, Howard S., (HSW) Construction Company (firm); Wright Runstad and Company (firm); Robert Cioppa (architect); Sheldon Fox (architect); Patrick Gordon (architect); A. Eugene Kohn (architect); John E. Mahlum (architect); David A. McKinley Jr. (architect); Vincent B. Nordfors (architect); William Pedersen (architect); Harvey Paul Pittelko (engineer); H. Jon Runstad (developer); Howard S. Wright (building contractor/developer)

Dates: constructed 1985-1988

55 stories, total floor area: 1,097,463 sq. ft.

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1201 3rd Avenue
Downtown, Seattle, WA 98101-3029

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At 730 feet and fifty-five stories high, the first Washington Mutual Tower in Downtown Seattle, WA, ranked as the second tallest in the city in 2000. Owned by Shorenstein Realty Services, L.P., it occupied an entire city block and contained 1,114,849 square feet of Class A office space. (According to the Shorenstein Realty web site in 2010, the office tower had 1,097,463 square feet.) Seattle architecture firms, Mahlum and Nordfors and McKinley Architects, PSC, served as local, Associated Architects on this project with the New York-based Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF). KPF utilized changes in the Seattle building code that provided height incentives for developers if they included more public services and amenities. These amenities included inclusion of a transit tunnel stop, publicly-accessible plaza, Post-Modern building top and retail spaces on lower floors. The architects originally came to Seattle c. 1983 to compete for the Seattle Art Museum commission (eventually won by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown); they left town with this huge commission. Robert Cioppa was the KPF Partner-in-Charge for 1201 3rd Avenue.

The year the first Washington Mutual Tower opened, it was named one of the New York Times's three best new office buildings in 1988. Principal Architects Kohn Pedersen Fox, headquartered in New York, NY, developed a celebrated reputation designing large-scale, restrained versions of contextual Post-Modern design in the 1980s. The building used simple ornamentation and provided the skyline with a distinctively shaped roof, features important to Post Modernists at the time. Developer H. Jon Runstad worked with Seattle-based graphic designer Tim Girvin and Kohn Pedersen Fox to create a comprehensive graphic design program for 1201 3rd Avenue; this included the invention of a new type face to be used on all graphics within the building. When built, the building also included a parking garage that could contain 801 cars.

King County Assessor Number: ID n/a

PCAD id: 6328