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New Allen Institute Building Unveils Historic Terra Cotta Facade

Image: Rob Piercy
Image: Rob Piercy


Wednesday, Vulcan Real Estate and its project partners (including GLY Construction, Perkins + Will, BOLA Architecture and Planning and Pioneer Masonry) unveiled their significant progress on the new Allen Institute building at the corner of Mercer Street and Westlake Avenue North by removing the temporary covering from its historic terra cotta facade. Vulcan nominated the site's former William O. McKay Ford and Pacific Lincoln Mercury auto showrooms for landmark status in 2006. When the showrooms were deconstructed in 2009, Vulcan preserved and stored 2,760 individual pieces of terra cotta to incorporate into the new structure's facade. 966 individually cast decorative plaster elements have been installed inside the Pacific McKay showroom. New energy-efficient windows and doors were selected to match the historic style, while modern liquid air barriers and aerogel insulations were used to create an energy efficient façade that worked within the historic building profile.

The new building will house the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Allen Institute for Cell Science, featuring a mix of wet and dry lab spaces, a data center, auditorium, atrium and collaborative working spaces. The six-story 270,000-square-foot building, which is expected to be completed by Fall 2015, also has a target of LEED Gold and Salmon-Safe certification.

· Allen Institute [AIBS]