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Washington State Convention Center Addition project passes design review [Update]

The new design includes changes to the retail space and public plaza

A revised rendering of the Washington State Convention Center Addition, viewed from Ninth Avenue and Pine Street.
All images courtesy of LMN Architects

Update, January 18: The new Washington State Convention Center Addition design has been approved by the Design Review Board—but before construction begins, it still has to secure its city master use permit and get street vacation approval from the Seattle City Council. The Registry TPS has a blow-by-blow of the meeting.

Original article, January 16:

The Washington State Convention Center Addition project, which will double the size of the current Convention Center, has been winding through design review for a few years now—and it’s about to embark on what could be its last board presentation Tuesday night with a new design proposal.

A view of the design from Boren Avenue and Olive Way.
Courtesy of LMN Architects

New renderings for the project, designed by LMN Architects, may look familiar because not a whole lot has changed on a large scale. Rather, revisions have been in the details, like small tweaks to building massing, changes to window design and placement, revisions to the pedestrian experience, and switching up visible materials.

An aerial rendering of the Convention Center Addition shows “refined massing” around an outdoor plaza, with more planting and seating.

The building’s curtain wall was simplified for “more transparency,” with fewer glass fins for a cleaner design and clearer views.

The revised design, viewed from Boren Avenue and Pine Street.

Some signage was added to the facade for clarity.

The proposed design, viewed from Ninth Avenue and Olive Way.

A revised design around the ground-floor retail imagines metal-and-wood canopies, plus more planting around entry and exit doors.

Revised renderings of storefronts on Pine Street (left) and Ninth Avenue (right) show awnings lined with a wood-slat pattern.

The design for a pair of “co-development” towers was approved in May.

The Convention Center expansion is a $1.6 billion project. The project’s developer, Pine Street Group, recently came to an agreement with community groups over $82 million in public benefits that come with the project, including a $29 million contribution to affordable housing—before contributions required by zoning.

Other project contributions will include funding for a feasibility study on lidding I-5, pedestrian and bike improvements around the area, and improvements to Freeway Park.

After the project gets Design Review Board approval, the necessary street vacations need to get through the Seattle City Council before it can move forward. If everything goes according to plan, the project is scheduled to break ground later this year, with an estimated 2021 opening date.

Washington State Convention Center

800 Convention Pl, Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 694-5000 Visit Website

Freeway Park

700 Seneca Street, , WA 98101 Visit Website