Well guys, those crazy kids finally did it. Bill and Melinda Gates' namesake foundation has got headquarters of its very own, and they're nowhere near Microsoft. In fact, they're actually right next to Seattle Center! And they have a pretty convenient parking garage!
Excellent parking facilities aside, the Gates Foundation HQ is a fairly snazzy building considering the rest of Seattle Center's storied architecture. (Fun Forest, anyone?) Since the opening ceremony is just over a week away on June 5th, we took a look-see at the building's features and rounded them up for you. Read on for the rundown (with our commentary of course).
The Gates Foundation HQ Lowdown:
· It's gigantic. We're talking 900,000 square feet and five stories of massive. They built it way bigger than they needed it to be for when the foundation inevitably expands, and designed it to last 100 years. (This might be counterproductive, because everyone knows we're all going to be telecommuting from space in 100 years anyway. Who's smart now, Bill?)
· It's kind of sorely needed. The foundation's currently spread among a few buildings on South Lake Union, so when the 1,200 employees move in next week it'll be the first time they're in the same office ever.
· It cost $500 million to build, but that's no biggie because Bill and Melinda put in $350 million's worth so the foundation didn't take too much of a hit financially. You know, whatever.
· There are actually two buildings in the complex (from the air they look like interlocking V's), and they're planning a third but can't actually say when they'll start construction. (You know, because they have no idea.)
· The buildings themselves are on their way to LEED Gold certification, and the parking structure already has it. Cool features: a couple of living roofs and a million-gallon rainwater collection tank. Well played, Bill.
· It's got a visitor's center with lots of local art, but that doesn't open until the end of the year so don't get too excited about it yet.