The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation first opened its distinctive campus by Seattle Center in 2011. It almost seemed to be best-viewed from above; NBBJ designed two boomerang-shaped buildings, cradling not just a central courtyard, but the occasional art installation. Earlier this week, the Foundation announced it’d break ground on a third building in the fall of 2019, estimated for completion in the spring of 2022.
The new building will be identical to the first two in a few of ways—besides the general shape and size. It’s designed by NBBJ, built by Sellen Construction, and aiming to be LEED-platinum-certified, the highest sustainability score awarded by the United States Green Building Council. In many ways, it’s a continuation of the original campus project.
The curved design is functional as well as unique; according to NBBJ, the buildings were designed to have floors with the same square footage as a typical downtown office building, but with better access to windows—not only bringing workers closer to daylight, but decreasing energy costs.
The new space will include space for 800 employees—Gates Foundation currently employs about 1200 on-campus—plus new meeting and gathering spaces and additional parking.
While project costs aren’t yet finalized, Bill and Melinda Gates are committing some of their personal wealth to the expansion.
The foundation, founded in 2000 by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife and former Microsoft employee Melinda Gates, works to alleviate poverty in the U.S. and abroad, with a notable focus on health, development, and education.