Another recap by our ULI YLG co-chair, Steffenie Evans:
After a fun evening on Friday, the group reconvened to tour both the Gates Foundation and the Visitor’s Center. Norma Miller, the Facilities Director for the Gates Foundation, gave us a behind the scenes tour of the campus. Highlights included touring the stunning atrium with its 60 foot high window walls, where the foundation holds company-wide events. The LEED Platinum facility was designed by NBBJ and features integrated workspaces, a one-million-gallon underground rainwater storage tank and a green roof spanning a half acre.
The visitor center, designed by Olson Kundig, showcased the foundation’s three main areas of focus: global development, global health and US efforts with a series of rooms featuring interactive exhibits where visitors can better understand the challenges the foundation address.
The group then boarded a WWII amphibious landing craft and drove through downtown, Pioneer Square, the waterfront along the viaduct (relating to previous day’s discussion), 99 along the Aurora Bridge, then down into the water to see Seattle’s waterfront from a unique perspective. While the Duck Boat Captain gave us plenty of quirky Seattle history and made us do the YMCA through downtown, Kerry Nicholson provided local real estate insights about the new waterfront plans, the Sculpture Park, and site of the future Brooks Headquarters.
South Lake Union Discovery Center
Dan McGrady gave an overview of Vulcan’s development in South Lake Union, highlighting the various developments on their interactive map. The group then broke up into two groups and toured several notable recent developments in the neighborhood, including:
Art Stable – Jim Friesz and Kirsten Murray from Olson Kundig gave us a rare glance inside of the Art Stable condominium project. Built on the site of a former horse stable, the project features active elevations, with an 80 foot tall hinge and crane system mounted to the building to allow owners to hoist large pieces of art into their units. Facing west, the raw shell units feature oversized, hinged windows operable with a steering-wheel like mechanism.
- Stack House – Melissa B. Wechsler with Runberg Architects met the group on the sunny corner across from Vulcan’s newest mixed-use development. The project adapts a 100-year-old historical laundry supply building, complete with a smoke stack, into a mixed-use office project. Vulcan is targeting LEED for Homes Platinum certification for the project and will pilot a new bio-filtration swale system in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities.
- Museum of History and Industry -Leonard Garfield, Executive Director of MOHAI, allowed us a sneak peek at the new MOHAI facilities (set to open in December 2012). Housed in a complete renovation of the historic Naval Reserve Building in Lake Union Park, the main exhibit space featured soaring ceilings with several installations in progress, including Boeing’s first seaplane, the famous Rainier “R”, and an exhibit featuring a visual portal to both the lake below and the sky above.
Eric Tanaka, Executive Chef with Tom Douglas shared insights on locating restaurants, organic vs. local food, and new vs. old historic restaurant spaces. After a grueling effort spent hauling heavy soil up three flights of stairs to create a rooftop vegetable garden, Tom and Eric now have their own farm in Prosser. While they don’t see themselves expanding outside of the Pacific Northwest due to the tight quality control they like to maintain, the two have definite plans to keep expanding locally. How do they formulate new restaurants? Eric shared that Tom will eat something amazing on his travels and they will spend months trying to recreate the dish. Once they’ve accomplished this, they work to put their own “spin” on the dish. Next up for Seattle: falafel!
The conference ended with beer, pretzels and shuffleboard at the latest Tom Douglas haunt. The Seattle Young Leaders had a great time planning this conference and look forward to seeing you all next year in Vancouver!