A Look Inside Cushing Terrell’s New Seattle Office

A Look Inside Cushing Terrell’s New Seattle Office

Multidisciplinary design firm Cushing Terrell recently opened a new office in Seattle, Washington, which they designed themselves.

“Cushing Terrell’s 9,000-square-foot Seattle office, located in the penthouse of an historic warehouse building, boasts uninterrupted views of the downtown waterfront and Olympic mountains, and draws inspiration from the moody hues and varied textures of the Puget Sound and Pacific Northwest coastline.

The goal of the project was to create an efficient flow of people and activities throughout the space, while ensuring collaborative, equitable, and inspiring touch-down areas for the diverse roles and responsibilities of the team members who would be using the space. Additionally, the design prioritized reuse. From the adaptive reuse of the century-old building to conference tables and workspace caddies carried over from the previous office, the team set out to modernize the workspace consciously and thoughtfully.
The existing floor plate was preserved but rethought with a space plan that emphasized flow and transitions. Buzzy zones of activity were intentionally linked together, removed from quieter, focused workspaces. Guests are greeted at the elevator bay with a warm, neutral sign and welcomed into a series of gathering spaces, including a living room, private 1,200-square-foot rooftop deck, dining room, and open kitchen space.

Where once were small, private offices, an open kitchen and dining room have been introduced. As a part of the renovation, the separating walls were removed to expose floor-to-ceiling windows, revealing the office’s greatest asset: views of the surrounding geographic features.

Adjacent to the open format breakroom is the design lab, situated behind large, sliding glass doors. An extension of the community gathering space, the design lab encourages collaborative, creative problem-solving with the benefit of a full library of materials and resources. 

In addition to repurposing the space itself, heavy emphasis was placed on the responsible reuse and/or disposal of assets from a previous workspace. A series of workstation storage units were retained and repainted to match the new sit-stand desks, and a large conference table was relocated to anchor one of the new space’s largest meeting rooms. Other items were redistributed throughout the community by resale or donation, and material samples were returned to local manufacturers to divert as much of the furniture, materials, and supplies from the landfill as possible.

The theme of reuse extended beyond existing assets into key new furniture items and fixtures as well. Among those were the dining table, which was saved from a decommissioned showroom closed during the pandemic; task chairs made with reclaimed ocean plastic; and a Living Product Challenge certified woven area rug made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles, featured in the dining room.

The entire design process was carried out amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in unique challenges and fine tunings. Knowing firsthand the pandemic had changed and would continue to change the way offices are used, special consideration was given to this new space to ensure it served as an asset for the new way the team would work and provided agency with a variety of spaces to accommodate a range of workday needs.”

  • Location: Seattle, Washington
  • Date completed: 2023
  • Size: 9,000 square feet
  • Design: Cushing Terrell
  • Photos: Mark Woods
Corridor / Wall seating
Collaborative space
Common area
Common area
Common area
Meeting space
Meeting room