Theater Commons and Donnelly Gardens

Theater Commons and Donnelly Gardens

Theater Commons and Donnelly Gardens, part of GGN’s Theater District master plan, transformed a 1.6 acre parking lot, service road, and isolated lawn area into a welcoming, green and universally-accessible pedestrian entry for the Seattle Center campus. In a unique collaborative process, GGN led the conceptual design and sustainable concepts in the planting design, and then the native plant garden was designed, selected, and installed by Seattle Center landscaping/gardening staff.

For this highly visible public gateway, the project team developed a simple, durable, replicable, and affordable precedent for unifying pedestrian streets at Seattle Center. Permeable vehicular paving systems were developed to respond to varying conditions throughout the urban campus. Bio-retention gardens and evaporation gardens were designed to collect run-off from both the non-permeable site surfaces and the adjacent theater roof.

In March 2013, Theater Commons and Donnelly Gardens received certification from the Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™). It was one of the first 15 national and international projects to be certified.


Location: Seattle, WA
Size: 1.6 acres
Clients: Seattle Center, Seattle Repertory Theater, Intiman Theater
Completion Date: 2010

Project Team

GGN, Landscape Architect
Weinstein A|U, Architect
Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Civil Engineers

Services Provided

Concept Design - Construction Administration


SITES Certification



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