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Preserving History, Embracing Innovation: Seattle's Federal Reserve Building Transformation


Seattle's Federal Reserve Bank building, a relic of the city's past, has undergone a remarkable transformation, blending historical preservation with contemporary functionality. Tasked with revitalizing this iconic structure, property developer Martin Selig enlisted the expertise of Perkins&Will's Seattle studio to modernize the landmark while respecting its rich heritage.

Constructed in 1913, the building stood as a testament to Seattle's history amidst its forward-thinking ethos. Perkins&Will navigated the intricate balance between preserving the past and embracing the future, culminating in a design that seamlessly integrates old and new.

Central to the renovation was the addition of a striking glass structure, delicately cantilevered over the original stone building. Erik Mott, Design Co-Director of Perkins&Will's Seattle studio, describes the juxtaposition as visually captivating, enhancing the building's presence while paying homage to its historical significance.

Selig's commitment to preserving the building's legacy extended beyond aesthetics. Original stone and brass finishes were salvaged and repurposed, while modern updates ensured the structure's longevity for generations to come. Seattle's penchant for preservation guided the project, striking a delicate balance between tradition and innovation.

Incorporating sustainable and resilient solutions, the renovation addressed seismic concerns while minimizing environmental impact. By repurposing existing materials and quantifying carbon footprints, Perkins&Will significantly reduced the building's environmental footprint, setting a new standard for historic preservation.

The addition of new retail access and tenant amenities further enhances the building's functionality, fostering connectivity with the city while honoring its storied past. Selig praises the collaborative effort, underscoring the success of the project in preserving history and embracing innovation.

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