NBBJ Design was selected to oversee the renovation and re-use of the historic ColiseumTheater in Seattle. Craig Hardman was the Project Manager and led the project design team, in collaboration with Banana Republic.
The corner location in downtown Seattle is one of the most important corners in the heart of the downtown retail district. After languishing for many years, the rejuvenated building continues to give a dramatic boost to the ongoing health of Seattle’s downtown core.
The building was originally built in 1916 as one of the first movie palaces on the west coast. It had undergone a variety of repairs and updates over its life, but continued to function as a movie theater into the 1980s. Small retail tenants remained along the sidewalk, but the storefronts had been patched, modified and damaged.
Several prospective tenants considered the site, with a variety of uses and remodel configurations evaluated. In the end more minimal changes to the interior were a cost effective solution and resulted in preserving a larger amount of the original interior. Banana Republic built a flagship store giving new life to the old building. The 1950s era corner marquee at the entry was removed and a dramatic glass wall replaced a non-original tile wall infill. The entire façade was cleaned and repaired to match original building details. Traditional operable awnings were created to fit the restored storefronts.
At the interior the retail store was fit under an upper balcony which provided a vaulted ceiling shape and a direct connection to the building’s past. Building systems were entirely replaced and updated and the building was retrofitted for earthquake projection with a concrete slab at the balcony level above that tied together the tall exterior walls.