Weyerhaeuser Corporate Campus
Status: Watch List
Year Listed: 2017
The design of the Weyerhaeuser Corporate Campus was a joint effort between architect Charles Bassett of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, landscape architect Peter Walker, a founding partner of Sasaki Walker & Associates; and George Weyerhaeuser. The collaboration resulted in the design of the stunning 430-acre campus clearly visible from Interstate 5 in Federal Way. According to Bassett, the campus is designed such that “the landscaping and the building simply cannot be separated…they are each a creature of the other.” The interior design of the headquarters also reflected this sentiment by pioneering the open-office plan, free of any partitions, allowing the exterior landscape to be enjoyed from almost any location inside the building.
The campus was recently purchased by a developer who has expressed interest in preserving the headquarters building, but is moving forward with plans to develop portions of the surrounding acreage. Local residents are concerned that the massing and scale of proposed new construction will overwhelm the site, adversely impacting the balance of the built and natural landscapes that lend such significance to the site. Advocates are also concerned for the future of the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden and the Pacific Bonsai Museum, two distinct and significant cultural resources also on the property.
With such an expansive campus, a certain level of development is inevitable; even the original plans indicated areas for additional construction activity. Due to its exceptional historic and architectural significance, however, particular care must be taken with any new development. New buildings must be sensitive to the original design philosophy of the campus, which emphasized integration with the landscape and environmental sensitivity.