How Adaptive Reuse Inspired Cushing Terrell’s New Downtown Seattle Office

Multidisciplinary design firm occupies 9,000 sq. ft. office space in Seattle’s Waterfront District. 

Relocating from Lower Queen Anne, the Cushing Terrell Seattle team joins other businesses committed to reoccupying and revitalizing Seattle’s downtown. Needing to accommodate a growing staff and adapt to a shift in workplace expectations, the team, led by Associate Principal Chris Aageson recently moved into the seventh floor of the Agen Warehouse building listed on the National Register of Historic Places at 1201 Western Avenue. 

Originally constructed in 1910, the former industrial warehouse facility sits amidst the growing and redeveloping Seattle Waterfront. Cushing Terrell’s penthouse workspace, added as part of a 1980’s renovation, boasts uninterrupted views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.  

“We love that our interior design team was able to show off their talents within our own workspace,” Aageson said. “They have created not only a beautiful space for our team, but one that responds to a new way of working. It will be a pleasure to share this view and versatile office with colleagues, clients, and community organizations. We look forward to hosting visitors and events and enjoying afternoons on the rooftop deck.” 

In response to the adoption of a flexible work policy, Cushing Terrell’s new workspace emphasizes agency through a variety of spaces and amenities. What were formally private offices overlooking the Sound have been converted to what is now a large kitchen, dining space, and breakroom allowing the view to be shared by all team members and doubling as a scenic event space. Huddle rooms of varying sizes, a “living room,” and a private rooftop deck also define the office’s intentionally dynamic and adaptable design. The tenant improvement project was completed in partnership with Abbott Construction. 

Design Notes

  • The goal was to create an efficient flow of people and activities throughout the space, ensuring collaborative, equitable, and inspiring touch-down areas for the diverse roles and responsibilities of team members who would be using the space.
  • Additionally, the design prioritized reuse. From the adaptive reuse of the century-old building to conference tables and workspace caddies carried over from the previous office, the team set out to modernize the office consciously and thoughtfully.
  • Where once were small, private offices, an open kitchen and dining room have been introduced. Separating walls were removed to expose floor-to-ceiling windows, revealing the office’s greatest asset: fantastic views of the Puget Sound.
  • Adjacent to the open format breakroom is a design lab situated behind large, sliding glass doors. An extension of the community gathering space, the design lab encourages collaborative, creative problem-solving with a full library of resources. 
It is such an honor to create a space that showcases what we can do as a design team, and one that becomes a bit of a showroom that we can leverage for client and vendor meetings and to host community and industry events. This office is an asset to show our clients what’s possible and what we can do for them.
– Jess Earp, Interior Designer

Hear from interior designer Jess Earp as she talks about the design vision for the Seattle office.

Come for the spectacular views, incredible design expertise, and to collaborate with our dynamic team! Learn more about Cushing Terrell Seattle visit 

About Cushing Terrell

Cushing Terrell was founded in 1938 on the belief that integrating architecture, engineering, and design opens the doors for deepened relationships and enhanced creativity. This foundation continues to define the firm and its multidisciplinary team today. Driven by empathy, the team works to design systems and spaces that help people live their best lives and enjoy healthy, sustainable built environments. With more than 450 team members spanning 30-plus disciplines and expertise across the commercial, education, government, healthcare, infrastructure, residential, and retail markets, the firm has offices in Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Texas, and Washington. For more information about Cushing Terrell, visit