Willmott’s Ghost

Willmott’s Ghost

Architect
Heliotrope

NBBJ
Location
2100 6th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121, USA | View Map
Project Year
2018
Category
Restaurants
Stories By
Heliotrope

Price Erickson

NBBJ
AARON LEITZ
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
ManufacturersVitro Architectural Glass
Lighting / Crescent Light Pendants Lee Broom
Tile,Idris by Ait Manos MosaicsAnn Sacks
WallpaperKlaus
Chairs / Hiroshima armchairNaoto Fukasawa
ManufacturersOluce

Product Spec Sheet
Lighting / Crescent Light Pendants
Tile,Idris by Ait Manos Mosaics
Wallpaper
by Klaus
Chairs / Hiroshima armchair
Manufacturers
by Oluce

Willmott’s Ghost Opens in The Spheres

Heliotrope as Architects

James Beard Award winning chef Renee Erickson and partners launched their latest restaurant, Willmott’s Ghost, which occupies the ground floor of The Spheres (2100 6th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121), last month. Architecture is by Heliotrope Architects, interior design is by Price Erickson, and construction is by Dovetail. The Spheres are the centerpiece of Amazon’s Seattle campus: glass-enclosed domes containing workplaces and cloud forest conservatories with thousands of flora from throughout the world.


Willmott’s Ghost serves Roman-style pizza al taglio and Italian aperitivo cocktails. A theatre of cooking infuses the atmosphere, with chefs visible in the open kitchen, and the mise en place on full display. One of only three spaces in The Spheres open to the public, the Italian eatery is 1,900 square feet and seats around 50 people. With a three-story jungle above, the restaurant takes its namesake from a thistle-like flower christened in honor of Victorian horticulturalist Ellen Ann Willmott.


The architecture and design marry traditional Italian cuisine with a contemporary glass and steel structure. The design team drew inspiration from the unique geometry of the building, as well as bright, airy environments of modern art museums and galleries. Enclosed within the spherical envelope, the area housing the restaurant proved an incredible - and inspiring - challenge, as much of the architecture is dictated by curves. Curved leather banquettes and booths hug the glass perimeter. Curved walls clad in painted wood pickets, inspired by the knurling on the sides of coins, define the dining room, and curved bars with Italian marble counter tops fill the space.


Italian food and culture influence the material palette – a margherita pizza or the Italian flag translates into softer pastel hues of white marble, pink tile, and mint and forest greens. White oak chairs, table tops, and bar stools provide a warmth that pair with brass accents and hardware. Custom curved liquor racks are fabricated out of solid brass, as is a custom brass sink and mirror in a uniquely located restroom at the edge of the building’s curved glass facade. The pink Moroccan tiles are a custom color from Ann Sacks. Original artwork by Ellen Lesperance is illuminated by brass light fixtures.


Jeremy Price of Price Erickson explains that, “We made craft the main ingredient of the restaurant buildout,” which was complicated to construct due to the curved nature of the building and the sophisticated mechanical system above and below the restaurant, which runs The Spheres complex and keeps the plants alive. The faceted glass spherical building did not provide a lot of room to maneuver or load in large gas fired pizza ovens. “It was like building a ship in a bottle,” says Mike Mora, principal at Heliotrope Architects.


The resulting architecture and interior design evoke classical themes written in a contemporary language. Timeless materials of marble, tile, and brass form organic curving counter tops, rounded walls, and radiused shelves. At Willmott’s Ghost, the food and architecture meet in a space that honors the culinary traditions of Italy yet reflects the modern structure in which it sits.

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Willmott’s Ghost

Price Erickson as Interior Architects

Willmott’s Ghost, designed by Price Erickson, and built out in shades of dark green, mint, pink, and gold against a background of Jeffry White, will be a fun and lively restaurant in a truly special setting. Italian wine, beer and spirits will all be featured, as will baked on site breads and pastries from Ben Campbell of Ben’s Bread fame. Willmott’s Ghost takes reservations, as well as walk in guests, and is open to all.

 

Material Used:

1. Located at 2100 6th Avenue at the corner of 6th and Lenora in the iconic Spheres

2. 44 seats inside, 35 at upholstered booths and banquettes, 9 at bar stools

3. 28 seats outside on its seasonal garden patio

4. Reservations accepted 

5. Designer: Price Erickson

6. Architect: Heliotrope

7. Builder: Dovetail

8. Lighting: DePelecyn

Read story in Italiano

The Amazon Spheres - Centers of Energy

NBBJ as Architects

NBBJ is working with Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, to revitalize Seattle’s Denny Regrade neighborhood with the creation of new corporate office space, ground-level retail and public amenities.

The project encompasses approximately 3.3 million square feet on three city blocks, including three 37-story high-rise office towers, a mid-rise office building, a multi-purpose meeting center that seats 2,000 people, and the landmark The Spheres. To reflect Amazon’s community-focused culture, the design seeks to build a neighborhood rather than a campus, with emphasis given to ground-level amenities open to the public and to diversity in building character.

For instance, ground-level retail on each street front, sheltered pedestrian arcades and public art create a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood in an urban area formerly dominated by surface parking lots. The design also includes a public dog park, two-way cycle track on 7th Avenue, with dedicated entrances for bicycle commuters immediately adjacent to the main lobbies, and tower curtain-wall systems that extend upward to screen the rooftop mechanical equipment.

The first high-rise, named Doppler, was completed in 2015. At 37 stories tall, it contains offices as well as ground-level retail and restaurants, and it also links to the five-story, arena-style multi-purpose meeting center, which will serve the entire headquarters. The second high-rise, Day One, opened in 2016.

 

The Spheres
The centerpiece of the new Amazon headquarters is The Spheres: a multi-story, glass-enclosed workplace containing tens of thousands of plants and trees from around the world. As exposure to nature is proven to put people at ease and help them think more creatively, The Spheres are designed to help Amazon employees feel and work their best, and are open to the public on weekends.

The Spheres occupy a prominent location at the center of the site, where employees can step away from their desks to think more collaboratively and more creatively while surrounded by nature.

Design computation helped to generate The Spheres, each a pentagonal hexecontahedron formed by tessellating a pentagon across its surface. Algorithms enabled the team to quickly generate a steel-and-glass structure that could be constructed efficiently and cost-effectively.

Three fabricators across the Pacific Northwest collaborated to create the structure. The primary steel components were fabricated in a warehouse for greater ease and safety, as well as to maintain strict quality control.

The structural steel was then shipped to the site and assembled by the ironworkers crew. Thanks to the precision of the fabrication process, components such as these fit together almost perfectly, with very few adjustments necessary.

The Spheres are an employee amenity that also provides public benefits, such as public access to the entire first floor, street-level retail and parkland — including a public dog run — on the surrounding site.

The Spheres, housing more than 25,000 plants from around the world, are a key amenity to help Amazon's employees think and work differently. In addition to the plants themselves, the interior also includes tree houses, bridges, a waterfall and a conference room enclosed by greenery.

Winding paths with a variety of gardens and varied seating choices throughout the five levels of wraparound walkways create mystery as well as chances for exploration, from smaller nooks with quiet seating spaces to larger, more expansive spaces for group meetings, conversations, people-watching and day-dreaming.

The space provides a dynamic educational environment for employees and the public alike, with something new to discover on each visit. It’s a place for a walking meeting or to work solo, to find solutions to pressing issues, or to take an invigorating, inspiring stroll surrounded by nature.

 

Center of Energy
On the lower floors of the high-rise buildings, NBBJ also designed the Centers of Energy: social hubs filled with employee amenities that bring an urban vitality into the workplace, encouraging employees to connect and collaborate outside of the traditional office environment.

The Center of Energy contains a range of employee amenities, including a marketplace, food venues, labs, tech support, meeting areas, an outdoor terrace and other alternative workspaces.

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