Commercial Office Interiors
W.G. Clark Lobby
Commercial interiors for the lobby of a construction company with over 100 years of local history.
When a local construction company with over 100 years of history, W.G. Clark, took over this landmarked midcentury office building in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood, they renovated the space, then brought us on board to help with the design of their new lobby. With construction in the building nearly complete when we began, our challenge was to design within the shell to create a “midcentury-modern-adjacent” style — minimalist, but with a sophisticated, professional feel highlighting the honest materials of the construction trade. A Pacific Northwest Modern materials palette was the perfect fit for a company using those very materials locally for so many years.
Though the building is composed of vaulted spaces with glazed gable ends, access to natural light in the lobby area was limited. Plus, the landmark status meant that adding additional new light fixtures would be a challenge. So, finding a way to let in as much natural light as we could, was key to creating a space that didn’t feel gloomy or suffer from glare.
Off the lobby, a conference room was filled with natural light, confined within the room by solid walls. To allow the light to flow into the lobby, we designed sculpted, solid wood louvers within a tempered glass case to replace the solid partition wall. When visual privacy is required, the wood louvers pivot to close, while the glass case ensures acoustical privacy. For the reception desk, we designed a custom piece requiring and highlighting the careful coordination of multiple materials — something that is reflective of W.G. Clark’s specialty in high-end construction.
Finally, behind the reception desk, we composed a feature wall of backlit vintage construction tools — a nod to the company’s long history. To source the tools, our team got their hands dirty, sifting through boxes and boxes of old, rusty tools to curate the final collection to be mounted and highlighted as “museum pieces” in the lobby.
In many projects, a significant portion of the design is about layout out the geometry and lines of a space. But with the layout already in place, this project was all about making the details shine with carefully-chosen, high-quality, natural materials, then framing them and giving them the breathing room to shine with beautiful craftsmanship.
Notes & Credits
This project was built by W.G. Clark and Marian Built.
Ben Cruzat crafted the solid wood pieces and L-shaped top of the reception desk.
Shout out to Mike Marian at Marian Built for the design and construction of the operable mechanism for the louvers, the metal panel fastening system, and for the mounting mechanisms for the vintage tools.
Photography by Tina Witherspoon.
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