wpa, Seattle, WA
Kathy Wesselman, Anthony Pellecchia (Principals in Charge), Michelle Wang, Leah Martin
This vertical big box shopping complex includes four stories of big box retail and eight stories of parking – creating a number of challenges. The designers broke the mold by designing a sign system that required retailers to abandon their typical internally illuminated plastic signs for signage that would become the skin of the building. For example, signs for Target and Best Buy were layers of painted, welded wire attached to a chain link wall and set in front of the building's corrugated metal wall. It is large in scale but doesn't dominate the landscape. Other than the mesh signs, all tenant signage is open pan channel with exposed neon. The designers are also responsible for the primary color palette used in the signage as well as the architecture.
"This vertical big box shopping complex, with stories of retail and stories of parking, is a radical departure from the norm. The implentation of the recognizable store graphics as the actual skin of the buildings is achieved by utilizing layers of painted welded wire attached to a chain link wall, which sits in front of the building's corrugated metal wall. In addition, the site directional signage is well executed for this big box use."