New Denny Way Substation

The award winning Denny Substation consists of constructing a new electrical substation and an underground distribution network to accomplish a major electrical system upgrade for Seattle’s rapidly growing city. The substation is set in the vibrant urban Denny neighborhood. It is a one-of-a-kind substation to bring significant amenities to enhance the neighborhood. Unique features include a double cantilever screen wall around the perimeter of the substation with an attached elevated walkway, a community off-leash dog park, meeting spaces, and public art. The substation also provides improved reliability and system flexibility, benefiting customers both in and beyond the project area. The substation responds to Seattle’s rapid growth, particularly the tech and biomedical sectors (including Amazon, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and PATH) that are revitalizing the neighborhood but simultaneously create a heavy demand for power. The substation’s physical form stands as a significant historical marker of this era and signifies a critical investment in Seattle’s future. The enclosure’s multiple terraced walkways draw pedestrians onto the substation to give them an intimate understanding of the facility through integrated graphics, educational components, landscape and seating areas. Elevated 16 feet above Denny Way’s busy traffic, the substation affords visitors a unique urban vantage point. Additionally, the upper enclosure walls angle away from pedestrians to mitigate bulk and scale and to increase access to light and air on all sides. Its footprint allows ample open space for art, seating and an off-leash zone for the area’s many dog owners. The rising and falling walkways surrounding the substation create an ADA-accessible quarter-mile ambulatory loop.

Project Info

Project Name

New Denny Way Substation





Seattle, WA


Seattle City Light

General Contractor

Walsh Group

Delivery Method

Lump Sum



ENR National - Best Project Award, Best of the Best Project - Energy/Industry

AIA Seattle, Honor Award, Honorable Mention

Fast Company Innovation by Design Awards, City Solutions, Finalist

IIDA Northern Pacific, INconcept15 Award

Interior Design Magazine Best of Year Award"

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