Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, 100 Stewart Hotel & Apartments serves as a contemporary landmark that visually and physically responds to the surrounding urban context. The site is situated adjacent to the historic Pike Place Market District and is neighbored by a range of buildings that represent Seattle’s rich history. For that reason, one of the primary architectural considerations of the project was the scale of the new structure and its relationship to smaller, older buildings in the surrounding area.
Architect: Olson Kundig
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Status: Built; Completed 2016
Project Size: 248,644 SF (total gross floor area including above- and below-ground)
Project Team: Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA, Design Principal; Kirsten R. Murray, FAIA, Principal; Jeff Ocampo, LEED® AP, Project Manager; Brian Walters, LEED® AP, Project Architect; Hayden Robinson, Edward Lalonde, Evan Harlan, and Lori Kirsis Architectural Staff
Contractor: Turner Construction
Key Consultants: Jensen Fey Architecture, Interior Design; Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Civil and Structural Engineer; Swift Company, Landscape Architect
Photography: Nic Lehoux
“The site, which is located at an important intersection, is really at the heart of Seattle. The shifted axis of First Avenue―where it curves to meet the city’s typography―offered us an opportunity to really mark that place, an important intersection that joins the surrounding districts.” ― Kirsten R. Murray, FAIA, Principal
The building is composed of two primary elements that break the expression of the structure: a focal point “glass lantern” with geometric shifts that physically mimic the street grid alignment; and the adjoining frame of solid façades that provides a visual counterpoint.
Drawing from its surrounding context the building features an interior courtyard that offers a quiet, protected area as an entry point to the hotel. The Pike Place Market District has a pattern of existing pedestrian circulation through courtyards and alleys that evoke a sense of wander and exploration. The 100 Stewart courtyard endeavors to connect the building to these pedestrian pathways in addition to serving to bring in natural light, air and ventilation. Punched openings higher up in the structure also allow people to see into the building, invoking a sense of visual accessibility.
Aside from the glass lantern element, the building’s street facing structure is an integrally colored cement panel façade system that fits with the surrounding historic brick buildings. Finishes within the courtyard are light and white to create more reflectivity.
Conceptually, the building is denoted by both introverted and extroverted spaces, while the iconic glass lantern is symbolic of the hotel’s relationship with Seattle, the Pacific Rim and wider world―it serves as an inviting and luminous entity.
“The complex program of this project allowed us to explore the urban built environment under all conditions―from private to public and interior to exterior.” ―Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA, Design Principal
Olson Kundig is a collaborative global design practice whose work expands the context of built and natural landscapes. Led by five owners, the firm’s work can be found in more than fifteen countries on five continents, with projects ranging from cultural and museum projects to exhibition design, commercial and mixed-use design, private and multi-family residential, hospitality projects, places of worship, interior design, product design and landscape design.