Architect: Blaine Weber
Senior principal at Seattle-based architecture firm Weber Thompson, Blaine and his team have created an innovative, iconic and luxurious project that’s entirely different from anything else in Bellevue.
This urban oasis will be a place for people to relax, converse and hang out with friends and colleagues while enjoying the lush landscape, dynamic water features, and the fine food and beverage.
a Sense of Place
Ask Blaine Weber, senior and founding principal at Seattle-based architecture firm Weber Thompson, about his design studio’s philosophy and he’ll tell you it’s quite simple: understanding their client’s vision, helping to create something truly extraordinary, and excelling at teamwork.
These values are fused into the DNA of the 30-year old firm. Weber and his team believe that their accomplishments are predicated on helping clients find success with innovative projects that create value for them, their audience, and the Earth.
It might sound lofty but it resonates with Fortress Development who is creating an innovative, iconic and “bespoke” project that’s entirely different from anything else in Bellevue—a world-class destination for guests and residents. “Avenue Bellevue is one of the most sophisticated, dynamic and complex projects that Weber Thompson has had the pleasure to design,” says Weber, who describes the early stages of the design process as a deep dive into the nature and history of the site, the immediate context and greater urban fabric, and, of course, the Fortress vision.
The Weber Thompson team spent a lot of time studying alternative versions for the building’s bold and highly sculpted three-dimensional form but also focusing on connections and the pedestrian experience. Creating a meaningful “place” requires thought beyond an individual building. It requires creating connections to other elements in the project and beyond, and paying attention to the spaces between buildings. “Andy Lakha is a wonderful visionary and he inspired us to create something really special for this site,” says Weber. “The thing that most excites me is the resort-like feel of both public and private areas, the synergistic mix of uses, the generous amenities, and the quality of the materials, inside and out.”
During early design brainstorm sessions between Fortress and Weber Thompson, the teams discussed the flowing, fluid and serpentine qualities of water, which can be seen reflected in the design at the ground plane and in the towers. Standout features like the quality of materials, the lush landscape and abundant water features, rich lighting, and a sinuous pedestrian concourse that weaves through the project lend Avenue a dynamic yet tranquil quality.
The Plaza, which is the first thing visitors see when coming through the two main entry portals, is designed to provide a friendly invitation to enter and enjoy this very human space, and to explore all of the amenities within. “This urban oasis will be a place for people to relax, converse and hang out with friends and colleagues while enjoying the lush landscape, dynamic water features, and the fine food and beverage,” says Weber.
The bold, ultra-modern towers at Avenue Bellevue will grace the city skyline with their playful geometry, sophisticated sculptural form, and dramatic lighting. The guest and residential experience, the dining and shopping, the landscape and design combine synergistically to create a very active lifestyle in a place where one can live, relax and play. More than a collection of buildings and disparate uses, Avenue will become an iconic landmark, a destination for people who seek world-class shopping, dining, and relaxation in a place that inspires a feeling of zen and respite. “Avenue will be a destination project that will bring new energy to the heart of the city,” says Weber.