Cascading glass surrounds a wooden office building in Kirkland by LMN Architects

Last November, LMN Architects celebrated the completion of the Lakeview office building. Built for Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment, the project occupies an ideal location in Kirkland, Washington, a stone’s throw from Lake Washington. It responds to its context with a massive wooden structure enclosed in a custom designed glass curtain wall facade with operable windows.
The triangular site serves as a gateway to Kirkland, so it was essential for the design team that the building behave as such. Pamela Trevithick, Partner at LMN Architects, noted that “the site is unique, and the design matches that.” “The curve on the west side responds to the shape of the site and maximizes views of Lake Washington.”

The two-story curtain wall incorporates operable openings. (Courtesy of Sierra Construction)

The 48,000-square-foot project is the first large-scale timber office development project east of Greater Seattle and includes two levels of office space, with two levels of underground parking. The client, influenced by other collective timber projects such as the T3 in Minneapolis, was keen to incorporate materials into the design. It also pushed for large areas of rooftop landscaping, a feature that required an amendment in the municipal zoning law. The collective timber components are manufactured and installed by Vancouver-based StructureCraft and consist of Douglas Fair Glulam’s post frame and beam and DLT floor and ceiling panels. This part-set approach, backed by StructureCraft’s extensive auxiliary design process, facilitated rapid structural installation: the process took just over a month.

Site plan for an office building
The site plan of the Lakeview Office Building shows its proximity to Lake Washington. (Courtesy of LMN Architects)
With the structure in place, the team moved forward with the installation of the building envelope. The curtain wall was manufactured in collaboration between EFCO and subcontractor Mission Glass with the help of facade consultant Morrison Hershfield. The curtain wall panels are each 5 feet wide and are arranged in 20-foot units. Jeremy Schoenefeld, affiliated with LMN Architects, explained that they “written more open specifications for the project, which indicated that [they] He wanted a four-sided, structurally glazed, no-view curtain wall system with operable vents. Washington state energy law really pushes you to create a tight envelope and the percentages of the glass are limited, and the highly reflective sight glass has helped the spandrel [them] Preserving this overall glass appearance while mitigating solar gain.”

External door system details
The NanaWall folding door system opens onto the roof deck, the surrounding garden, and the expansive horizon beyond. (Benjamin Benchneider)
The curtain wall system is no different from that used in a standard concrete building; The panels are held with straight steel angles placed over the DLT floorboards. The operable slots are included within the panels and arranged so that each standard 10-foot wide desk unit contains one.

For the large opening that connects the building’s interior to the rooftop garden, the design team chose a massively foldable NanaWall door system, which opens onto the raised patio overlooking Lake Washington beyond.

Robinhood, the Bay Area-based financial services firm, is set to occupy the building.

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