2019 Skyline Awards, Office: F5 Tower

Plus: Silver Award winner 929 Office Tower

August 22, 2019

Bill Virgin

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This article appears in the September 2019 issue. See more about the winners of the 2019 Skyline Awards here. Click here for a free subscription.

F5 Tower
801 Fifth Ave., Seattle

Developers of the mark (recently renamed the F5 Tower) werent just designing for one building, they were really working on three during the adaptive reuse project. The property had been the home for more than 100 years of the architecturally striking and historically significant First United Methodist Church, commissioned by Seattle founding father Arthur Denny. Right next door is the Rainier Club, built in 1904.

What Daniels Real Estate and Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architect came up with was a plan that keeps and repurposes the church building as an event space named The Sanctuary, though recent reports suggest that space may become a fitness center. The 48-story office-hotel tower starts at ground level on a quarter-block footprint, then slopes over both historic buildings. Using air rights purchased from The Rainier Club, the towers northwest-corner cantilevers hover over it by more than 20 feet. The distinctive diagonal steel braces that divide the buildings planes help eliminate internal columns, providing more open floor plans and more daylight.

Tech company F5 Networks is taking all 528,000 square feet of office space in the building. Meanwhile, thousands of bees now live in specially designed urban hives atop the building.

Silver Award

929 Office Tower
929 108th Ave. N.E., Bellevue

Befitting its location in one of the regions emerging tech centers, Bellevues 929 Office Tower was built to give individual tenants control of lighting, elevator calls and air conditioning through phone apps. The 462,000-square-foot Class A office towers design features nine-foot ceilings to get more daylight deep into the core. The design also breaks up a downtown superblock with a new street, providing more pedestrian access.