Interior Commercial (Washington)

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Iris Campus

Location: Seattle
Contractor: Expert Drywall
Architect: NBBJ
Team: Commencement Bay Construction Products, Gypsum Wallboard Supply, John Latta & Associates, Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel, Armstrong World Industries, Award Metals, BMI Products of Northern California, ClarkWestern Building Systems, Dietrich Metal Framing, Fry Reglet, GC Products, Georgia-Pacific, Grabber Construction Products, Hilti Inc., Parex USA, Scafco Steel Stud Manufacturing Co., USG Building Systems

Photo by Sean Airhart
Nearly 600 glass-fiber-reinforced gypsum column covers were installed throughout the two office buildings on the Iris Campus.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Iris Campus is comprised of two six-story office buildings, a reception building with basement and a 400-car underground parking garage. The project totals about 870,000 square feet and is located on eight acres.

Office buildings have a unique boomerang design. Exterior skins consists of many different products, including stone, glass curtain wall, metal/copper panels and stucco. The exterior envelope required an enhanced structural frame using 10-gauge sheet metal over heavy-gauge metal studs.

Building A’s interior has a four-story atrium that serves as the focal point of the project, with four glass-fiber-reinforced gypsum column covers towering 55 feet. About 572 of the column covers were installed in both buildings.

The buildings’ main mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems were run below access floors totaling 480,000 square feet. This presented a significant challenge to coordinate the fire and sound-rated partitions, which had to be installed both beneath and on top of the floors.

Judge’s comment: “The design, details, materials and wall and ceiling work on this project are of the highest quality. The interior building space is magnificent. The interior walls, columns and ceilings are illuminated by strong natural light from continuous curtain wall windows, but still under these conditions, the surfaces show outstanding workmanship. It is an extraordinary building with an extraordinary showcase of what the wall and ceiling industry can do.”

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