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photo of 800 5th Avenue Reposition
Photo: Aaron Leitz

800 5th Avenue Reposition

Seattle, Washington

800 5th Avenue Reposition

Seattle, Washington

  • Design Principal

    Kirsten Ring Murray

The 800 Fifth Avenue Repositioning updates the role of the modern urban workplace by creating an office experience that is better than home. The repositioning departs from the oversized proportion of many office towers toward a more human-scaled sensibility. Interior renovations draw on fundamental tenets of residential design, incorporating natural materials, intimately scaled spaces and bespoke detailing to support a warm, comfortable interior environment. Improved sightlines, access to natural light and integrated artwork likewise marry residential considerations with the building’s existing architectural language.

Inhabiting both public and private uses, the revised lobby, retail, fitness center and courtyard spaces introduce new social amenities to Seattle’s downtown core that foster a vibrant urban experience for workers, residents and visitors alike. Additions of white oak and exposed steel bring warmth and tactility to the space, while bespoke installations including suspended lantern lighting and bookcases reduce the interior volume to a more residential scale. Throughout, a sequence of insertions shape flexible social gathering zones that transition seamlessly from the interior to the courtyard’s outdoor “rooms.”

Outside, 800 Fifth Avenue’s courtyard is reimagined as a series of community gathering spaces with multiple nodes for gathering. Complementing the interior spaces, exterior terraces suit a variety of community and small-group uses, anchored by a hearth that establishes a cozy, all-seasons focal point. A cantilevered retail bar and elevated terrace looks down on Fifth Avenue, exchanging views between levels to activate both spaces while mitigating wind within the courtyard.

Previously, you were meant to be a little in awe, a bit intimidated, when you walked into a high‑rise building. With this repositioning effort, we’re humanizing the space, building on the sense of the space as a hive of activity, a place with its own distinct vibe. Instead of a place that’s overpowering, it becomes somewhere you feel welcome to stay, to have a meal, to gather and collaborate. Kirsten Ring Murray, FAIA




AIA Seattle Honor Awards for Washington Architecture, Award of Merit



Kaysen, Ronda. “The Post-Pandemic Office.” Architectural Record, May 2022, 72-73. Print.

Kaysen, Ronda. “The Post-Pandemic Office.” Architectural Record, 1 May 2022. Web.