During the planning process for a new Weyerhaeuser Company corporate headquarters, George Weyerhaeuser Sr. was meeting with architects to review potential building designs. He had looked at a number of proposed skyscraper drawings that did not match his vision of a functional, attractive, building with Pacific Northwest style, blending into the site’s natural landscape. While returning from a break, he saw a skyscraper drawing from a different angle. It was then that he envisioned a skyscraper on its side, consisting of five floors and 355,000 sq. ft. of space.
Completed in 1971 and designed by San Francisco firm, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the property has received numerous awards for architectural design, environmental design, interior space planning and energy conservation including the 25 Year Award for enduring significance from the American Institute of Architects in 2001.
The 600-foot-long building is a series of thickly covered, ivy terraces organically flowing into the landscape and making it difficult to determine where the building ends and nature begins. As a landmark in office innovation and environmental sensitivity, it was one of the first large-scale installations of open office planning in the United States and one of the first examples of a corporate campus.
Weyerhaeuser Company made the site its headquarters from 1971 to 2016, when the company moved to a new building in downtown Seattle and IRG acquired the site. The corporate headquarters building, now known as The Greenline, housed 975 employees and approximately 3,500 people worked on the expansive property.
The exterior design of the corporate headquarters building is a continuous sequence of stepped concrete slabs, layered between transparent glass walls. Terraces planted with English Ivy and native vegetation, link interior and exterior environments. The window walls are recessed under the terrace to reduce glare. The main entrance features Guardian Rock, a massive, 70-ton, stone sculpture by Gordon Newell of Monterey, CA.
The open floors plates inside have uninterrupted views of the lake, meadow and trees on both sides through unbroken bands of glass the length of each floor. More than 400 glass panels, measuring 12 feet by eight feet each, make up the largest nonsash window walls in the world and manufactured by Pittsburgh Plate Glass. The interior of the building is lined with architectural wood paneling of American white oak, teak-finished with all wood grains precisely matched.
Three parking lots each connect to building floors, allowing employees to park on the same level as their desks. Sycamore trees screen the lots from sight and provide a shaded walkway to the door.
Stewardship, Conservation & Wildlife
Weyerhauser was committed to conservation efforts in constructing and maintaining the property; values that new owner and national adaptive reuse expert, IRG will continue. A heat reclaiming system inside The Greenline reduces energy consumption in the building by capturing and storing all energy sources, including ambient outdoor heat and solar energy. Lighting is computer controlled, saving money and energy.
The foundation of The Greenline building dams an artificial, 10-acre lake fed by Hylebos Creek. The lake adjoins a 3,100-foot sweep of meadow of wildflowers that reaches to Interstate 5. The site also includes miles of nature trails.