1201 Third Avenue
|1201 Third Avenue Tower|
|Former names||Washington Mutual Tower
The Spark Plug
|Location||1201 Third Avenue
|Roof||235.31 m (772.0 ft)|
6 below ground
|Floor area||103,572 m2 (1,114,840 sq ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
The McKinley Architects
|Developer||Wright Runstad & Co.|
|Structural engineer||KPFF Consulting Engineers|
|Main contractor||Howard S. Wright Construction|
1201 Third Avenue, formerly Washington Mutual Tower is a 235.31 m (772.0 ft), 55-story skyscraper in downtown Seattle, Washington. It is the second tallest building in the city, and the eighth tallest on the West Coast of the United States. Developed by Wright Runstad & Company, construction began in 1986 and finished in 1988. 1201 Third Avenue was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and The McKinley Architects. The building was the world headquarters of the financial company Washington Mutual from the building's opening until the company moved into the WaMu Center across the street in 2006. Soon after they filled for Chapter 11, Title 11 bankruptcy in September, 2008.
Kohn Pedersen Fox was hired to design the tower while visiting Seattle to be interviewed as a possible candidate for the job of designing the Seattle Art Museum. It was the first major office building built under Seattle’s 1985 downtown zoning plan, largely implemented in response to the Columbia Center, which called for height limits, interesting profiles, and height and density bonuses for public amenities to create a 24-hour downtown. The tower took advantage of all the height bonuses for public amenities that the 1985 plan called for including an entrance to the Metro Transit Tunnel, retail space, day care, public plaza, sculptured top, hillside public escalators, and lobby/atrium public access, as well as donating $2.5 million for off-site housing. By providing the amenities the designers were able to add 28 stories to the tower and almost double the base floor area ratio of the site. The building was built on the site of the 12-story Savoy Hotel which was imploded in 1986; however, the architects incorporated the historic Brooklyn Building into the design of the tower.
The New York Times named it one of the three best new office buildings in the United States in 1988, and in the May 1989 issue of Architecture Magazine Walter McQuade called it "perhaps the best recent addition to any U.S. skyline". Paul Goldberger said of the tower, “The building seems proud of its height; for all its classical elements it has a certain sleekness, and in this sense it is characteristic of our time, at least in intention, for it bespeaks a desire to combine the formal imagery of classicism and the energizing aura of modernity.” Seattlites have voted the 55-story skyscraper as one of their favorite buildings. The building is managed by Wright Runstad & Company.
Appearances in the media
- A CGI version of this building makes an appearance on the teaser trailer for the film Inception (2010). It is found toward the end of the trailer on the curved cityscape where the movie's namesake has been carved out.
- List of skyscrapers
- List of tallest buildings in Seattle
- List of tallest buildings in the United States
- 1201 Third Avenue at CTBUH Skyscraper Database
- 1201 Third Avenue at Emporis
- 1201 Third Avenue at SkyscraperPage
- 1201 Third Avenue at Structurae
- Egan, Timothy (May 11, 1986). "A 55-Story Tower Inaugurates A New Downtown Zoning Plan". The New York Times. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
- Gregerson, John (March 1990). "Seattle Tower Earns Its Place on the Skyline". Building Design & Construction. Retrieved December 6, 2007.
- Goldberger, Paul (November 27, 1988). "Proud of Its Height, A New Tower Rules Over Seattle". The New York Times. Retrieved August 12, 2010.