The third and final building from my recent visit to North America is the former ‘Business Center Building’, located at 777 106th Avenue N.E., Bellevue, WA., a city within the Seattle metropolitan area.
In a clear departure from the ‘Art Deco’ splendour of both the ‘Rincon Annex’ in San Francisco, CA., and the former ‘Northern Life Tower’ in Seattle, WA., the ‘Paccar Building’ as it is currently known, stands as an almost untouched example of ‘Brutalist’ architecture from the 1960’s and 70’s.
With 13 floors above ground, the 14-storey tower was constructed in the late 1960’s and upon completion was the tallest building in Bellevue. Sadly, it has since been surrounded by a series of nondescript modern glass towers.
The ‘Brutalist’ building is now owned by the US truck maker Paccar, Inc., and serves as its global headquarters. Paccar will be familiar to American readers as the owner of premium truck brands, Kenworth and Peterbilt, however in the UK and Europe, they own the DAF brand and operate a manufacturing facility in Leyland, Lancashire.
The tower itself is a typical slab-sided concrete design, however I have been unable to unearth the building’s architect. Both the front and rear facades are made up of identical concrete panels, which are joined together to form eight architectural bays. Each rectangular panel includes four metal windows in a waffle-like design.
Inside the building and there is little evidence to suggest that the interior is not the original. Despite standing as both a great example of ‘Brutalism’ and the first ‘skyscraper’ in Bellevue’, the building is not on the National Register of Historical Places (N.R.H.P.) and there is seemingly little local interest in it.
Should Paccar ever look to sell the building, then it is likely that it would be redeveloped, given its prime downtown location and the apparent occupier demand that exists in the area. It’s loss would certainly be to the detriment of America’s ‘Brutalist’ era.
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The architect was T.Y. Lin, Kulka, Yang & Associates, according to records from the King County Assessor’s office. In the year since you visited Bellevue, even more glass towers have been erected. Now that everyone in the tech industry works from home, I wonder who will occupy them.