Watching the F5 Tower Rise

Through our ninth- and tenth-floor office windows, we’ve watched a striking new addition climb into the downtown skyline.

Now standing alongside Seattle’s iconic Columbia Center is a soaring 43-story, 660-foot skyscraper called the F5 Tower, expected to be complete Fall of 2017. An engineering consultant and construction administrator on the project, we’ve anxiously awaited the final reveal, and when complete, we know there will be nothing like it downtown.

Characterized by its geometric design, massive steel beams cut across reflective glass panels, juxtaposing the unique angles and faces of the building. The exterior bracing is not only architecturally striking, it was constructed with seismic resistance in mind. This distinctive zig-zagging “mega-brace” was engineered to support the tower while also offering unobstructed panoramic views of the city; its blue-tinted curtain walls stretching from floor to ceiling with 9.5 foot-high windows. At the base of the skyscraper sits the city-landmarked First United Methodist Church. Our team helped preserve the historical treasure, design connections to the tower, and incorporate it into the final design as a high-end event venue. A stunning glass walkway connects the venue to the tower.

Originally called The Mark, by developer Kevin Daniels, the tower recently changed its name to F5 Tower when F5 Network announced it would be leasing all 28 floors of its available office space. Also moving into the building is the 189-room luxury hotel, SLS Seattle. Additional mixed-uses include dining and entertainment venues as well as conference and event space.

Recently, we ventured to the top of the tower (where soon a photovoltaic ceiling will convert light into electricity) to check on progress, and on the crane support system we designed. Here are a few shots we snapped before the roof was finished. Incredible view, right?