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The new Allen Institute building at Mercer St. and Westlake Ave. N. in Seattle incorporates the facade from the former auto showrooms on the site.

How’s this for a trick? Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Real Estate today unveiled the new facade for the new Allen Institute building in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. Except the facade actually isn’t new.

Vulcan preserved 2,760 pieces of terra cotta from the auto showrooms previously on the site, and reconstructed the facade as part of the new structure.

The facade was revealed today, as shown in these pictures from the Allen Institute. The building will ultimately house the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Allen Institute for Cell Science, along with lab spaces, a data center, auditorium and atrium. It’s slated to open in the third quarter of this year.

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