Elevator Modernizations and Lobby Remodel at L&I Headquarters

In 2016, we were hired by the State of Washington Department of Enterprise Services (DES) to complete upgrades to elevators at the L&I Headquarters building in Tumwater, WA. We prepared a pre-design report to determine the scope of modernizing all six elevators. The report included cost estimates, an estimated construction schedule, and options for intermediate repairs to improve short-term elevator operation without duplicating costs of replacing parts in the future modernization.

 In 2018, our team completed design to modernize the 6 elevators. We worked closely with the GC to phase the work with minimal disruption to building occupants. The elevator project and all lobbies completed construction in October of 2022.

Photos – William Wright Photography

Design Elements: Elevator Cabs

The interiors of the elevator cabs were updated with similar materials as the lobbies (stainless steel and resin panels) in response to the client’s desire to change the feel of the outdated and dark cab interiors. We designed new lighting, flooring, stainless steel, and resin panels with graphics depicting natural landscapes from various regions around Washington State. These elements incorporate biophilic design – bringing nature into the workplace, providing a different mood, cultivating a relaxing environment, and giving the users an opportunity for a mini-vacation while using the elevator.

Design Elements: Lobby Remodel

In response to the client’s request, we designed modernizations for the elevator lobbies, which included maintaining the public art installations (for example, the log wall on the opposing wall from the elevator doors) at each floor. The materials and finishes we used in the lobbies highlight the waiting area and showcase the existing art. Large-scale backlit resin panels with layers of translucent colors enhance the existing art work. Together with a stainless steel frame, and new paint, these upgrades provide the users with a more sophisticated, engaging and clearly defined elevator lobby.

Final Outcome

The construction phase of the project started just before the Covid-19 Pandemic and work continued throughout that challenging period. Supply chain issues and other factors outside the control of the project pushed completion beyond the original anticipated date, however the final outcome is a greatly improved appearance and operation of vertical transportation in the building, and the modernizations have been well received by the client and building users.


Melody Leung – Principal in Charge

Thomas Horton – Project Manager

Lalo Bello – Architectural Design

Elevator Consulting Services (ECS) – Elevator Consultant

Sazan Group – Electrical Engineer

Coffman Engineers – Mechanical Engineer

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