Bellevue Square is a fourth-generation, family-owned, nationally known retail destination located in the upscale Seattle suburb of Bellevue, Wash.
It has evolved over time with conversions of department store space and occasional expansions. Its design aesthetic had always been elegant in its simplicity, a series of pitched roofs spanning over generous mall concourses with exposed concrete columns and beams. A previous expansion had added a Crate & Barrel, restaurants and other retailers in a design expressive of the Pacific Northwest location, but the rest of the mall had remained essentially unchanged over the years.

In the new design, RTKL collaborated with developer Kemper Development Co.’s in-house design team, and with Sclater Partners, architects of the original project. The resulting design upgrade highlights the elegant simplicity of the original exposed concrete structure while adding richness with wood panels, ornamental handrails, stone floors, whimsically rustic furnishings and enhanced lighting, all responding to a new design concept called Urban Garden.

The remodel was set within the existing structure and was conducted at night to allow the center to remain open during the day. It included a complete redesign of the lighting, flooring, seating, and iconic elements, including natural stone flooring, graceful railings with open views, new gathering spaces and updated amenities and services.

The plan integrates important exterior components such as a street-front fountain court, and brings a new light, airy, natural feeling to the interior spaces. A restrained selection of wood and glass was strategically added to complement existing exposed concrete columns and bulkheads, transforming stark spaces into a sophisticated environment softened by natural finishes, a warm color palette, open viewing and common areas, and state-of-the-art lighting. The new lighting rectified long-standing issues with dark areas, achieved primarily through the installation of indirect sources in coves and pockets.

The renovation has helped attract new luxury brands to the collection including Burberry and Lacoste. Nordstrom, Williams-Sonoma, Banana Republic, and Pottery Barn have all expanded their existing stores to meet the mall’s consistently growing popularity.

Project Name: Bellevue Square
Location: Bellevue, Wash.
Square Footage: 1.3 million
Architects: RTKL Associates Inc. & Sclater Partners
Development Team: Kemper Development Co.
Lighting: T Kondos
Landscape: Mesa
Stone/Tile: Associated Imports Architectural, Emser Tile and Natural Stone & Tri-Stone and Tile
Amenities: JANUS et Cie, 3form, Salem Wolfe Associates & Architex International