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Take a first look at the WSECU building underway in the U District

Here’s what the development at 12th and 45th will look like

Courtesy of SKB Architects

The construction site at 12th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 45th Street will soon be a seven-story office building developed by Washington State Employees Credit Union (WSECU). The 66,747-square-foot facility will contain a WSECU branch and retail tenants in addition to some office space, and, according to SKB Architects, who led both the architecture and interior design, it was designed with a pedestrian experience in mind.

“Sensitivity to pedestrians—scale, texture, materials, transparency, and public amenities—drove the design.” said Brian Collins-Friedrichs, co-founder of SkB Architects and principal-in-charge for the project, in a statement. “We wanted to create a building that feels a part of its neighborhood and that also provides a signature identity for WSECU.”

That ended up taking shape in wide sidewalks around the building and a facade that combines a dynamic facade with a six-story, glass-dominated opening at the corner. Collins-Friedrichs said the idea was to “take the street-level engagement and tip it up vertically.”

Portions of the first and second floors are pulled back too, offering weather protection as people enter the retail portion.

Throughout the rest of the building, deep-set windows call back to the corner, and brick details nod to the surrounding environment—both the directly neighboring buildings and the University of Washington.

Inside, a semi-public shared lobby creates what SKB calls a “living room.” The retail area will also contain a community room available for public use.

Leased office space will have a separate entrance from the retail lobby, and benefit from an offset-core design that allows for more natural light and open office space.

The estimated completion date for the building is fall 2018.