Reinventing an Icon

To support a workforce that is more mobile than ever before and to adapt to the rapidly-changing business needs of the city’s premier companies, Two Union Square is now repositioned with amenities that create new work and social destinations for tenants and the public alike.

At 30 years old, Two Union Square remains a significant icon in the Seattle skyline. To retain the city’s legacy financial and tech firms amidst a construction boom of new office buildings, NBBJ worked with the owners of Two Union Square to reposition all of the building’s public spaces, from the main lobby to the lower-level retail court.

Previously, the main lobby was used for circulation only, but now tenants can move through the elevator banks and around the entire perimeter to find places to meet and work. Now conversations, solo work and meetings with colleagues can find a home in the public lobbies, which offer a variety of lounge areas featuring custom, curated furniture. Meanwhile, concealed lighting sources highlight sculptural elements and a refined palette of wood, stone, bronze and terrazzo that bring each space to life. Access to daylight and views to the landscape also contribute to the wellbeing of the building’s tenants and visitors.

The new design echoes what the Northwest region has come to represent: a unique intersection of natural beauty, technological innovation and community. Design elements directly reference natural motifs found in the region, from the main lobby’s wood ceiling, emulating the motion of wind and waves, to the fractal travertine wall inspired by tectonic activity — while creating a variety of calming spaces for tenants and visitors to work, recharge and connect. To create a highly tactile experience, the design team harnessed advanced technology and reduced material waste via advanced fabrication techniques.

“ It’s unusual to have a high rate of retention and a 10%-20% increase in rental rates. We’ve had periods where we have one of these, but recently we’ve had both. I seriously doubt we could have this happy ‘double whammy’ without the update to the public space in the building. ”

Craig Wrench CEO, Washington Holdings