Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, a premier landscape architecture firm, is working on the new 12-acre headquarters campus of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private foundation. According to the firm, the foundation’s value of “local roots, global misson” has been incorporated into the site design. “The overall campus design concept features upper office buildings with outward ‘world reaching’ arms resting on podium buildings and landscape features that restore a native Seattle character and align with the neighborhood’s street grid.”
Gustafson Guthrie Nichol will provide campus master planning, as well as the design and development of streetscapes, green roofs, and extensive plantings featuring native and non-invasive, drought-tolerant plants. The site design will also incorporate outdoor work spaces that “direct rainwater from paved surfaces into a million-gallon rainwater cistern.”
For Our Neighbors:
- The development will fit with the size and scale of the surrounding environment.
- The design will be inspiring and creative and fit within the neighborhood.
- The campus will be secure in a low-profile way.
- The edges of the campus must be well-defined and landscaped.
- The design will integrate sustainable materials and methods.
For Our Employees:
- The design must create a sense of place that reflects the foundation’s work in health and learning.
- The buildings will be connected in a campus-like setting designed to facilitate interaction, collaboration, and learning.
- The campus design will include open green spaces.
- The design will provide access to natural light for all.
Most recently, the landscape architecture firm organized the planting of a massive Big Leaf Maple in a key spot on the campus. “This specimen has a trunk diameter of almost 8 inches and weighs approximately 10,000 pounds, so a large crane will be used to move the tree into place.” Indeed, the campus is filled with trees: “Of the 135 trees planned for the campus, 63 additional Big Leaf Maples and 43 other Vine Maples will be planted on seven acres during Phase I of what will eventually be a 12-acre campus. Raywood Ashes make up the remainder of the total.”
Gustafson Guthrie Nichol is collaborating with architect NBBJ. Teufel is the landscape contractor, and Sellen is the general contractor. Construction will be completed in spring of 2011.
Image credit: Gustafson Guthrie Nichol