Docomomo US joins international campaign advocating for Weyerhaeuser Campus


Docomomo US staff


Threatened, Advocacy, WEWA
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Located 25 miles south of Seattle, WA in the City of Federal Way, the Weyerhaeuser International campus is a sprawling 260-acre wooded site that includes the Weyerhaeuser Corporate Headquarters building with recreational and forested areas. Designed by architect Edward Charles “Chuck” Bassett of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM) and Peter Walker of Sasaki, Walker and Associates (SWA) and PWP Landscape Architecture, and completed in 1972, the Weyerhaeuser Company’s headquarters was the first notable suburban corporate campus on the West Coast and is significant for its remarkable site planning, integration of built and natural environment, and planting schemes. 

Current Threat

The Weyerhaeuser campus is currently owned by Industrial Realty Group (IRG), which plans to build 1.5 million square feet of warehouse space on the 425-acre site. A master plan completed in mid-1970s, shortly after the campus was built, indicated areas appropriate for such development, but the current plan does not follow these recommendations, exceeding the area historically allowed for development. If completed, this speculative series of new construction could negatively impact historic viewsheds and compromise the original structure's relationship to the the site. IRG has turned down design assistance from Walker, SOM partner Craig Hartman, and SWA managing principal René Bihan. 

What We're Doing

Docomomo US/WeWa (Western Washington) is a consulting party in the Section 106 process and has been involved throughout the process. Docomomo US has joined the international letter writing campaign organized by TCLF to speak out against threats to the campus. The campaign has gathered letters from leading landscape architects including Laurie Olin, Bill Johnson, Gary Hilderbrand, Debra Guenther, Brice Maryman, and Weyerhaeuser designer Peter Walker, along with scholars Marc Treib, Richard Longstreth, David Streatfield, Gwendolyn Wright, Nicholas Adams, Scott Melbourne, and Kenneth Helphand, architects Joeb Moore and David Goldberg, noted design critic and architectural historian Alexandra Lange, and others. A microsite features the letters.

All parties agree it is a historic site and are working on mitigation efforts. The significance of the site is not being argued. However, it is notable how many of the submitted letters call out Weyerhaeuser as one of, if not the, most significant corporate campus project in the world

David Streatfield, professor emeritus of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington said that Weyerhaeuser is “unquestionably the finest corporate campus in the world.”

Alexandra Lange, noted design critic and architectural historian explained that “When Weyerhaeuser’s … complex was new, it was simultaneously the last word in the suburban corporate estates that flourished during the postwar era … and the first word in environmental consciousness as company branding.”

Gwendolyn Wright, professor emerita, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University considers it “the most significant corporate campus in the world.”

Peter Walker, original landscape architect at Weyerhaeuser, founding principal of Sasaki, Walker and Associates (SWA) and PWP Landscape Architecture put it in perspective of his body of work: “In my 60 years of landscape architecture projects, which include the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, the National September 11 Memorial with Michael Arad in New York City, and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, Weyerhaeuser Headquarters is perhaps the most important and certainly the dearest to my heart.”


What You Can Do

Members of the public are encouraged to contact Jim Ferell, Mayor of Federal Way, and Colonel Alexander Bullock, Seattle district commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to express your concern about proposed changes to the Weyerhaeuser Corporate Headquarters.

Follow the letter writing instructions provided by TCLF. 

If you are local to the area, we encourage you to engage with the local chapter, Docomomo US/WeWa to further document and preserve significant examples of modernism in the region.

Engage with your local chapter