Overwhelming, indistinguishable, uninspiring: When Group Health (later Kaiser Permanente) approached us, their Renton campus lacked personality or place. The spaces felt uninspired; the existing colors, primarily grays and whites. They needed delineated spaces for their doctors, nurses, pharmacists, warehouse workers, and admin staff to work together, marked with familiar visual cues to help them navigate the campus. Our design not only accomplishes this, it creates stories that spark conversation and inspiration and encourages people to go outside and move around the campus.
Programmatically, we divided up the buildings into places of quiet where people work (the cubicles), where people talk and gather (elevator lobbies), where they move (stairwells and main staircases), and where they get things done (copy and print stations). Custom art installations and graphics personalize each level, building, and space. To bring warmth and light into the buildings, we brought the walls alive with bright, bold colors and nature-inspired imagery.
In the spaces designed for conversation and movement—elevator lobbies and main stair landings, respectively—complex, illustrative compositions printed on wall coverings now spark conversations and encourage people to stop, discover small details, and find things they’ve never noticed before. The back stairs feature enormous, three-story tall wall graphics or custom sculpture-cut vinyl, each highly detailed and alluding to the natural world, that encourage users to climb the stairs and take in the rest of the art. Overall, we created 28,137 SF of custom-printed wall graphics, 950 SF of custom sculpture-cut adhesive vinyl, and three custom designed commissioned art installations.
Each building—Rainier, Adams, Baker, and Glacier—has its own design aesthetic and theme based on the area’s surrounding mountains and landscape.