Lease Crutcher Lewis Completes Seattle Tennis Club Renovation

Seattle – Lease Crutcher Lewis (Lewis) has completed a major renovation at the Seattle Tennis Club located on the shore of Lake Washington. The project included replacing the pro shop and upgrades to the indoor court building and the north lawn to improve accessibility, enhance the shoreline and refurbish the 50-year-old facilities.  

Construction began immediately following last year’s Washington State Open Tennis Tournament in August and was completed in May, just in time for this summer’s active season. Together the three projects improved accessibility and environmental sustainability while reducing energy consumption for the 50-year-old facilities. “The timeline was tight, especially considering there was a good deal of permitting required and that the Club remained open during construction,” said Daniel Clancy, AIA, CVS-Life, LEED AP who serves as the Club’s committee chair and specializes in visioning and value engineering. “We have been planning this project for five years anticipating the Club’s renewal in time to celebrate the 125th Anniversary next year.”

The new pro shop replaces a single-story building adjacent to the indoor court building with a two-story 5,000-square-foot addition that’s served by a three-stop elevator. The building includes retail space, restrooms, a lobby and viewing areas for the indoor courts and a roof terrace. The new, upper entry provides ADA accessibility from the existing vehicle turnaround with passenger drop-off and loading at the Club’s main entry.  

The architectural design of the new pro shop responds to the unusual conditions of the site as well as the existing character of the Club’s grounds and buildings. Set into the landscaped hillside, each level is accessed by a curving stair that leads down the 30-foot grade change from the parking deck off McGilvra Boulevard East. The north portion features traditional painted lap siding and dark green awnings, similar to the original clubhouse building. Green roofs on top help to visually link the building to the landscaped hillside and provide stormwater management benefits.

The curving organic shape and the rough-cut ashlar stone veneer exterior wall of the pro shop’s retail ties the south portion to the landscape while plantings and permeable pavers help guide visitors out to the north lawn. The wide stair and landings offer a variety of smaller garden spaces, each with seat walls, pervious pavers, and native plantings. These spaces give members and guests an area to pause and socialize as they pass through. 

Stormwater management is integral to the building addition and site functionality. An interdisciplinary design approach to Green Stormwater Infrastructure involving the contractor, architect, landscape architect, civil engineer and structural engineer addressed the steep topography to creatively manage all stormwater on the site. Rainwater is filtered through a green roof, while rain that falls on the second-floor terrace is directed to a series of bio-retention planters that become a character defining piece of infrastructure. 

The renovation extends beyond the pro shop to the renovation of the north lawn, which features extensive site improvements. Once separated from Lake Washington by a steep rip-rap and deteriorating bulkhead, the north lawn now features a restored shoreline designed to improve Salmonid habitat and a reconstructed 290-lineal-foot bulkhead to halt erosion and improve water quality. Lewis, a Salmon Safe accredited contractor, followed strict Salmon Safe guidelines to complete this phase of the project. Adjacent to the bulkhead, underwater debris and remnant concrete rubble was removed and replaced with salmon spawning cobble. Native plant species provide texture and work as a beautiful foreground to the view of Mt. Rainier and the lake while improving the ecology of the place by enhancing the shore habitat. 

The gracious north lawn accommodates large gatherings such as weddings, reunions and parties at the Club. A looping path now embraces the 10,000-square-foot, gently graded lawn to improve circulation to a series of “outdoor rooms” with Adirondack chairs oriented to views of Mt. Rainier. A 75-foot long trellis was added to define the north edge of the lawn from the pickle ball court with hitting wall and a 500-square-foot garden maintenance building that was renovated with restrooms. 

Team members participating with Lease Crutcher Lewis included: Michael Whalen, architect; Berger Partnership, landscape architect; Daniel Clancy, committee chair, visioning and value engineering; Dana Warren, owner’s representative.


About Lease Crutcher Lewis 

Lease Crutcher Lewis has been a leading Northwest general contractor since 1886, and has been based in Seattle since 1939.  Lewis is active in numerous project types, including laboratory, healthcare, education, office, retail, hotel, historic renovation, and others.  Common threads for its work include an integrated approach to working with customers and design partners, sustainability, and a focus on optimizing delivery through lean construction approaches.