Big Fish moves into Maritime Building in Pioneer Square, focuses on preserving its history

SEATTLE — Big Fish Games moved into its new home in Pioneer Square across from the Colman Ferry Dock on Monday.  The nearly two-year renovation gives game producers a state of the art environment for creativity while honoring and preserving the history of the Maritime Building.

KIRO 7 got an exclusive look at the high-tech makeover on Tuesday.  Built in 1910, the Maritime Building originally held goods destined for the Alaskan and Yukon territories.  Big Fish founder Paul Thelen fell in love with the dilapidated building when looking for a new space.

“With a history like that, Paul really felt like some Seattle-based company needed to bring it back to a Seattle feel and pay tribute to the history of that building,” Big Fish Director of Real Estate Evan Cottingham said.

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All the wood you see throughout the building is reclaimed and restored. All of it, including the flooring, came from the original wood pilings in the building that were taken out during renovation.  You find features like that throughout the building.  On the second floor, a museum details the building's history through the decades.

Big Fish Games was acquired by Australian-based aristocrat six months ago, but continues its growth in Seattle with more than 100 job openings here currently.

The new space is designed to foster gaming creativity.  Employees gave input on what they would like to see and have creative liberty over their workspaces.  There are ping-pong tables, lots of breakout areas for meetings and a large rooftop deck that overlooks Elliott Bay.

The Maritime Building renovation is just the beginning for this area as the Alaskan Way Viaduct is scheduled to come down in the next year.

“We're super excited to be one of the beacons on the waterfront,” Cottingham said.  “As it gets revitalized.”