It’s been a few years since Bellevue-based travel company Expedia announced its plans to set up shop in Seattle on a 40-acre Elliott Bay waterfront property vacated by pharmaceutical company Amgen. Since then, several former Amgen buildings have been in the process of a renovation—but today Expedia announced what some of its brand-new, ZGF Architects-designed buildings are going to look like.
The new space aims to integrate “biophilic design”—a design concept that connects humans with the natural world around them. Sometimes this means actually landscaping plants into a space, as with the Amazon spheres. Here, Expedia hopes to achieve the effect natural light, expansive views, and outdoor workspaces (with Wi-Fi!), taking advantage of its park setting. Outdoor space will also include playfields and an amphitheater.
The goal is to blend with the landscape around it. A connecting hallway, for example, is walled in glass for a view straight through to the park and bay.
The interior speaks to both the natural and industrial setting—Centennial Park borders a working port and trails off into an active railyard. The central “market hall” is a wood- and plant- accented space, surrounded by two stories of the 11-foot windows present throughout the design and topped by skylights. Smaller workspaces are tucked around the atrium to absorb the full effect. This seems like an evolution of the “Nexus” that Expedia announced as part of its office plans in 2016.
The company deliberately constructed “a range of settings to choose from,” including a more industrial space with exposed concrete and ducts, with corrugated steel surrounding the quieter spaces.
As we reported last year, the campus also comes with improvements to the beloved biking, running, and walking trail Elliott Bay Trail, softening a rough corner and opening up space.
Other amenities include bike storage and on-site repair, shuttle service to the Eastside and downtown Seattle transit hubs (ideal, since the campus is only directly served by the busy D Line), and a gym with shower facilities.
When the campus opens—the current goal is the fall of 2019—it will house 4,500 employees and have room for 5,000.