Seattle, Washington

Providing a breadth of offerings

How does a project go from inspiration to blueprint to finished space to a media profile on raising the bar for retail? To make a powerful connection with retail customers, it takes more than understanding regulations, design and layouts. It takes a unique approach. A real empathy with where customers are today. But also where they are heading tomorrow. It takes an architect who understands what it takes to make a compelling statement — and a strong profit — in today's environment.

That's where Seattle-based MulvannyG2 comes in. The firm doesn't simply take on a project. The company focuses on connecting customers to their clients' brands and their cash registers and asks the big questions from the outset: What do you want your project to achieve? What is your ‘win?’ How can we translate that into a dimensional experience that embodies all that you offer while staying on time and on budget?

Getting from brainstorm to successful bottom line requires a combination of open communication, proven processes and efficient project management. But it doesn't end there. MulvannyG2 is also selective about the commissions they accept, so it can match senior staff members' key expertise to each project's particular type and scale. That way, the firm's clients are always getting the best of what they have to offer — in the most cost-effective ways.

It's this unique alchemy of talents and tactics that has helped MulvannyG2 become the fastest growing architectural firm in the country for two years running, and the 11th largest design firm in the United States. But its true measure of success comes from the fact that over 90% of its growth has been from repeat business.

The company's major client in that regard continues to be Issaquah-based Costco Wholesale Corp. MulvannyG2 has worked on more than 500 Costco buildings across the nation and abroad — working on initial designs or renovations for nearly every Costco warehouse and distribution center.

Because of the long relationship between the two companies, “Costco has influenced who we are as a firm tremendously,” says president Mitchell C. Smith. In particular, he cites Costco's work ethic as a major influence.

As the company has grown, it has gained a series of other high-profile roll-out clients including retail giants Target, Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, Safeway, Fred Meyer, Best Buy, Borders Books and Nike. MulvannyG2 also does “concept-to-completion” projects and are currently working on two new prototypes for Costco. But the firm focuses on more than just Fortune 500 companies. MulvannyG2 is just as committed to innovative, individual projects such as the Factoria TownSquare — a vital, engaging, mixed-use community featuring retail, condominiums and offices.

“The projects that we've done in the past couple of years have given us a new level of credentials and credibility in order to pursue larger-scale projects, such as mall redevelopments,” Smith says. Along those lines, Smith believes a main factor in MulvannyG2's expansion has been the ability to provide its clients a greater breadth of offerings. Areas of growth include the company's interiors work and the creation of 5IFTH FLOOR, the firm's branding subsidiary.

“A big part of our growth has just been expanding our capabilities and services,” he says. “There's a real spirit here of constantly exploring new opportunities.”