The Collective, Seattle

Designed by: Gensler
For client: ClubCorp USA, Inc. Floor area: 1532.00 M² Year of completion: 2018
Submitted for: Co-Working Space of the Year


Public Score
4.84
4.90 Function
4.79 Innovation
4.82 Creativity
The Collective 01
© Heywood Chan

A sunken lounge revolves around a fire pit, while a yurt-inspired chandelier hangs above.

About the Project

The Collective challenges the functional program of social clubs of the past. Designed to spur a sense of community and comradery within the context of a private club, it reimagines traditional club elements and instead focuses on experiences that bring people together: art, music, dining, co-working, health and wellness, and connecting with nature.

Artwork can be found on nearly every surface – from a dramatic ceiling installation, inspired by the Strait of Juan de Fuca, to custom wall art commissioned from local artists – and it creates an atmosphere of casual comfort for members. Music is another way in which The Collective creates community. Three upholstered cabanas, designed to mimic music rooms, are named after local legends, while a stage for live performances holds events throughout the year.

Where traditional clubs approach dining through a formal restaurant, The Collective seamlessly integrates a seated eating area that doubles as a co-working, a coffee café, and a bespoke bar, offering craft beer and cocktails. A custom bouldering gym provides a fitness area, while a two-story hammock garden – a tech-free zone – enables relaxation and interaction on the human level.

The Collective liberates people from the ‘rule book’ of traditional social clubs by combining all the elements of today’s socials norms in a refreshing way. This synergy creates an atmosphere of playfulness and joy, which supports connection and becomes the conduit of social interaction.

What’s unique about it

The Collective's focus on authenticity brings its connection to nature to life, with local foods, art, and materials grown or made in the Pacific Northwest. The integration of plywood, antique padlocks, timeworn surfaces, and Pendleton rugs create a rustic atmosphere. A sunken lounge revolves around a fire pit, while a yurt-inspired chandelier hangs above.

Traditional social clubs create barriers to the surrounding community – both visually and physically – but The Collective exists at street level in the heart of a growing neighborhood, which makes it more accessible for those passing by to see inside. The club offers a direct connection to the community, cultivating a relationship by unveiling what’s inside rather than keeping it hidden.

Since opening, The Collective has consistently met or exceeded its monthly membership goals. In the words of one member: “Incredible space for accessing creativity and connections! A contrast to any experiences of [Seattle] 'freeze' and insulation. Warm, open, inviting, humble people will [surround] you with their connected energy!”

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© Heywood Chan

Named after Seattle legends, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, and Alice in Chains, these upholstered cabanas pay homage to the Seattle music scene, designed to mimic music booths.

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© Heywood Chan
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© Heywood Chan

The dramatic art installation on the ceiling that mimics the topographical features of the ocean floor in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

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© Heywood Chan

A luxury unisex locker room.

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© Heywood Chan

With a café and a bespoke bar offering local craft beer and cocktails, members are encouraged to use the space throughout the day and night, for casual gathering or full meal service.

The Collective 05
© Heywood Chan

The Collective offers a direct, visual connection to the community, cultivating a relationship by unveiling what’s inside rather than keeping it hidden.

The Collective 04
© Heywood Chan
The Collective 03
© Heywood Chan

A two-story hammock garden – a tech-free zone – enables relaxation and interaction on the human level.

The Collective 02
© Heywood Chan

The custom-designed bouldering gym provides an area for physical fitness.

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