Taking the WNBA and engineering by storm

With our deep bench of talented engineers, we were able to jump at the opportunity to be a part of our local sports champions’ impact on and off the court.

An all-female team of designers from PAE and ZGF Architects is set to make history by designing a practice facility for the Seattle Storm, the 4-time WNBA champs. Amazingly, this will be the first center in the United States to be specifically built for a professional women’s sports team. Most teams are required to share their facilities with men’s teams, college athletes, or the public, and are constrained by the need to be flexible with scheduling.

The Seattle Storm Practice Facility will be a 50,000 square foot space in the Interbay neighborhood of Seattle that includes practice courts, training facilities, the “Storm Team Center” with locker rooms, nutrition and lounge areas, pool therapy, outdoor training and administrative support spaces.

The female-fronted ownership of the Storm asked for a fully female design-team, if possible. PAE was able to fulfill that aspiration, joining with ZGF to bring a female-focused design consideration to the basketball champions’ facility.

“We are simply thrilled to bring a team of extraordinary and collaborative women, mothers, engineers, sports enthusiasts, and community members to this project. We believe having a female perspective and influence on an important, long-overdue project such as this one is key to its success.”

Daniella Wahler, Project Manager

According to the development plan, the facility will also be for the community with a “youth-focused basketball skill development center with programming specifically focused on girls and under-served communities typically excluded by financial or transportation constraints.”

At PAE, we have a history of working to address gender gap issues in our industry, with internal groups advising leadership like the Women in Leadership Committee and JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Committee. Our gender-neutral paid leave program helps retain women in STEM while also supporting men in being equal caregivers at home.

With our deep bench of talented engineers, we were able to jump at this unique opportunity to provide a world-class facility for our local sports champions.

PM, MEOR: Daniella Wahler
EEOR: Michelle Johnson
Electrical Lead: Jessica Kaplan
Mechanical Lead: Chelsea Guenette
Sustainability and Regenerative Design Lead: Karina Hershberg