Design Team's Goals & Objectives

5th & Columbia Tower

Located in the heart of Seattle's financial district, the 43-story 5th and Columbia mixed use tower will add a new contemporary form to the skyline, classic in style yet evolutionary and emblematic of 21st century Seattle. The approximately 761,500 GMA tower will be highly visible throughout the city with sustainable design features making a bold statement about the new workplace environment and prosperous future of Seattle.

As part of a plan to save the adjacent historically significant First United Methodist Church (FUMC) sanctuary and maximize development potentials in downtown Seattle, the new tower will rise gracefully beside the church instead of taking its place. The same ethic of stewardship continues with the careful accommodation of the Rainier Club, the registered historic landmark which shares the block.

Working with Daniels Real Estate, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects (ZGF) explored numerous design configurations in order to preserve and celebrate the urban sacred site while developing a contemporary office building. The design is limited to a ¼ block footprint (the first under the new downtown office core (DOC-1) zoning requirements) at the SE corner of the site, preserving ¾ of the block for the historic structures and public space.
Inspired by classical figures such as Michelangelo's David and the Venus de Milo, the design is balanced and proportional with the landmark church and Rainier Club. The slender faceted tower subtly slopes over the existing structures creating a unique architectural expression that distinguishes itself from adjacent tall buildings and enables the historic structures below to remain visually prominent at the street level. The pedestrian experience is enhanced through preservation of existing landscape, additional street trees, landscaped open spaces, a living wall, and overhead weather protection.

The faceted design conveys a sense of movement and emphasizes the vertical characteristics of the tower. The building's exterior expresses integrated architectural and structural elements creating elegant diagonal lines that draw the eye skyward. The system also provides efficient floor plates for future tenants and maximizes views from every floor. The faceted glass exterior is light and luminous contrasting with other adjacent tall buildings. Designed to be as transparent as possible to maximize daylight opportunities, the building is angled to reflect the church below.

Consistent with the project's focus on preservation and stewardship of the environment, the tower is being designed as a highly energy efficient and sustainable building with the goal of pursuing LEED-Gold Certification from the US Green Building Council. ZGF is currently explore environmentally responsive design elements such as photovoltaic panels, water harvesting systems, daylighting, a living wall, and other innovative energy saving systems. The tower is scheduled for completion in late 2016.

  • New tower is the first to be developed on a block site in Doc 1 (Downtown Office Commercial Zone 1) under new City of Seattle zoning.
  • Design concept is precedent setting, creating a valuable economic asset within the City's downtown office core while simultaneously sharing the site with two existing historic buildings, the landmarked Rainier Club and the First United Methodist Church (FUMC).
  • New tower is exemplary of sustainability and is aiming to be one of the first Seattle high-rise to achieve a LEED™ gold rating under the Core & Shell system.
  • Building lobby showcases and celebrates sustainability: daylighting, recycled-content materials, low-VOC finishes, and a living wall. .
  • Slender faceted shape increases daylight exposure to the entire site and neighboring structures versus the previous city-approved plan.
  • Shared courtyard next to the historic church will be provided on the site and accessible to public.
  • New tower provides additional needed space for use by the adjacent Rainier Club.
  • Exposed perimeter braced frame structural system optimizes building height and configuration, providing efficient floor plates with a single sinuous brace element that reduces core size and maximizes daylight penetration and views on all floors.
  • Exposed perimeter braced frame structural system saves 750 tons of steel, a 10% savings over other structural systems, while providing superior earthquake performance.
  • Generous 9'-6" floor to ceiling heights and floor to ceiling glass on the perimeter maximize daylight penetration and views. Building footprint maximizes perimeter area and permits interior planning strategies to maximize daylight.
  • Energy efficient LED lighting systems are used throughout the building. Daylight and occupancy sensors dim or shut off the electric lights when not needed, reducing energy use.
  • Building exterior skin uses argon filled insulated glazing units with a "low-E" coating, admitting maximum daylight but reflecting excess solar radiation, reducing the need for mechanical cooling in the summer. Interior heat is retained, though, reducing the need for heating during the winter months.
  • Roof top photovoltaic array creates a unique architectural element and provides alternative power generation on site for use in building operation (generating 1% of building annual energy use), while simultaneously screening roof top mechanical equipment.
  • On site rainwater harvesting is collected in a 116,000 gallon cistern in the basement and is reused in building mechanical system as makeup supply to the cooling tower, as irrigation for landscape elements, and celebrated in a rain garden water feature.
  • Rainwater reclamation, native landscaping, and ultra-low flow plumbing fixtures reduce overall water use by 39%
  • An exterior living wall, a landscape element located at the base of the new tower, absorbs rainwater, produces oxygen and removes carbon dioxide, while reducing the heat island effect in a tight urban core site.
  • Floor by floor mechanical systems give tenants individual control of air handlers and access to fresh air. Air-based ventilation and cooling system are remarkably efficient in Seattle's mild climate, utilizing outside air with no mechanical cooling for most of the year.
  • Destination Control Elevators maximize operational efficiency for building tenants and reduce energy consumption.

Gross Building Area: 947,500 SF
Gross Measured Area: 761,500 SF
Net Rentable Area: 703,000 SF
Chargeable Floor Area: 698,000 SF (for purposes of code, zoning, and FAR calculation)
Typical Gross Floor Area: 18,500 SF
Typical Floor to Floor Height: 13'-6"
Building Height: 660 FT
Number of Stories: 43

Ownership: Fifth & Columbia Investors, LLC
Development Manager: Daniels Real Estate, LLC
Architect: Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP
Structural Engineer: Arup, Coughlan Porter Lundeen
Civil Engineer/Shoring Design: Coughlin Porter Lundeen
Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing Engineer: Syska Hennessy Group
Vertical Transportation: Edgett Williams Consulting Group, Inc
Lighting: Pivotal Lighting Design