I grew up in the Pahasapa, known as the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is the heart of everything that is. These hills are home to a creation story, rich in many cultures and a battleground to a war that is still being fought.
The United States is home to many peoples, cultures, religions but one identity. We are a country that has much to celebrate but also a dark past. When an event takes place that is deemed significant by society, its memory must be preserved so to never forget. Memorials exist in between the physical realm of time and place that leans on emotion and memory to invoke its message. Memorials are sacred places, removed from its surroundings. It stands as a reminder to its past relying on the memorialization of materiality symbolizing its static place within the urban fabric.
Celebrating the history, stories and language of the Native American tribes within the United States, this thesis challenges the definition of a memorial’s role in society, not only to remember the past but to live in the present and inform the future. The project utilizes the built environment; the land that was once Native lands as a medium to project imagery and voice onto the urban fabric, telling the Native history and story of place. The design calls for the memorial to exist within the public realm, to not be a destination, but a series of images and voices on a pathway that might not be known to user. These projections and voices would be place specific, happening in proximity to its original location and occurring for a brief moment in time, leaving only but a scar as a reminder to its presence. Place is sacred within Native American culture and history - rooting this memorial within place and the built environment is crucial.
The design goal is to create a framework that is relevant anywhere within the United States as Native American presence stretches to all corners of the U.S. The methods of the memorial would remain constant from location but its contents would change based on the local tribe(s) within the area. For centuries, the history and stories of Native Americans has been re-told, re-imagined and re-interpreted by the U.S. Therefore, it is imperative that the content of these memorials come from within, representing and giving a voice to each unique nation of Native Americans.
Located where the downtown Seattle grid hinges, just steps from the iconic Pike Place Market, the 100 Stewart Hotel and Apartments takes advantage of its pivotal site at the convergence of four distinct zones: the Belltown neighborhood, Pike/Pine Retail Corridor, Pike Place Market district and the downtown business district.
At just under 20,000 SF, the tight infill site is wrapped by two of Seattle’s busiest streets—Stewart Street and First Avenue—an active alley to the northeast and a zero-lot-line building on the northwest side. The site logistics were quite challenging: situating a mixed-use hotel and apartment building on a busy site, providing appropriate access to the below-grade parking, enhancing the pedestrian experience at each street face, and constructing this new 190,000 SF development without impacting adjacent aging buildings and utilities.
The design concept responds to the urban form through a gestural move at the terminus of the street grid. The design move lends prominence to the corner as a gateway to the Belltown neighborhood and terminus of Pike Place Market, creating a “hinge” or articulation to accentuate this change in the street grid between neighborhoods.
The building’s offset floors of glass and steel structure shift in response to the street grid, visually reducing the scale of the eleven-story hotel. The hotel, which faces the intersection, reads as a glass lantern, transforming from a semitransparent crystal box by day to a beckoning sanctuary at night. Illuminated by the glow of hotel room lights, the design intentionally pushes the envelope of privacy, effecting a transparency typically reserved for more public spaces. Unitized sixteen-foot by ten-foot glass and composite resin panel systems form the facade of the residential towers on either side of the hotel’s curtainwall, enfolding the development back into the fabric of the surrounding neighborhood.
The overall design was a result of rigorous collaboration with the city, particularly in the creation of the interior courtyard. The interior courtyard borrows from the context of the neighborhood, where similar established green spaces have invited pedestrians to connect with the urban landscape.
Transparency, activity and openness between 100 Stewart’s storefront and street-level presence create a vibrant urban experience. Street-level spaces extend out visually into the sidewalk, inviting pedestrians to engage with the building at multiple entry points. Open facades and variations in paving materials and textures help to orient pedestrians toward building entries where large portals in the facade provide access to the open courtyard.
Nicholson Kovalchick Architects
TOWARD BUILDING AS CLIMATE ACTION
A Net Zero Showcase in Multifamily Building
This multifamily Passive House project responds to pressing questions facing our city: How to provide housing that is affordable to Seattleites being priced out of the market? How to create new architecture while honoring the built legacy of our neighborhoods? How to create buildings that help Seattle achieve its Climate Action Plan, rather than hinder it?
The intent of 11th & Republican is to provide a model response to these questions, demonstrating the value of high performance multifamily buildings to the city and its neighborhoods. The building’s design celebrates both its Passive House building energy conservation (by expressing its generous envelope thickness and passive solar shading) as well as its onsite renewable energy generation (by visibly showcasing its rooftop array in harmony with the building’s primary volume).
The project preserves a historic home, retrofits it to the ambitious Passive House standard, and melds it with a new four-story Passive House structure. The combined twenty residential unit building will become one of Seattle’s first market-rate multifamily apartment buildings to achieve Passive House certification, and represents an important R&D project – one that the project team will document and share thoroughly. The project’s rooftop array, in addition to enabling the building to reach for Net Zero Energy status, will serve as a visible reminder to passersby of the efficacy of onsite renewable energy to power buildings.
The design takes the existing home, relocates it to the SW corner of the site, adds an addition, and then positions a new building across a small courtyard space. An elevated solar PV array using special diaphanous panels connects the old structure with the new while providing the onsite renewable energy necessary to become a Net Zero Energy Building.
The new building mirrors the existing house in proportion and massing. The open space between the two buildings, spanned by tiers of exterior walkways, facilitates natural ventilation and daylighting in each unit. A mix of unit types provides housing for a mix of income levels and household size. Below grade units (with access to daylight and ventilation) and studio apartments provide the most affordable units, while 3-bedroom and 2-bedroom units can house families.
The focus: preserve the existing house, preserve the scale of the neighborhood, and create a multifamily building that helps preserve our climate future.
Graphite Design Group
Seattle’s South Lake Union has long been the site of evolution, growth and change, and that pace has only accelerated in recent years. Amazon.com Phase 8, at 325 9th Avenue North represents SLU’s latest evolution, and the future of the neighborhood, balancing commercial opportunity with a contextual response. One of the first projects conceived and built under the South Lake Union Upzone, the project pairs twelve stories of office space with ground floor amenity space, retail and a south-facing public plaza.
While it is easy to get caught up in the freshness of current growth it is also true that buildings can serve as a reminder of the past , and of the tremendous changes that have brought us to our familiar, contemporary setting. In the early 20th century, Denny Hill was leveled, transforming the landscape - and those buildings that occupied it - for centuries to come. The stacked forms of 325 Ninth Avenue recall the elaborate cribbing supports that allowed for the lowering of buildings that did not yet want to disappear with the hill. The elevated office block sits above a layered, textural podium that elevates the form above while responding to the more intimate scale of the street. Like the cribbing to which it owes its inspiration, the podium is perforated and elevated, allowing space and activity to flow in and through the block.
Graham Baba Architects
Part arts initiative and part residential development, 325 Westlake merges old and new structures to create a building that preserves the character of the existing building and the site, while ensuring its continued usefulness. Rents from the residential development fund MadArt, an arts initiative focused on connecting emerging artists with the community in unexpected ways. MadArt, which runs the studio space occupying the storefront, makes it possible to engage with art and artists every day, making artists and residents richer through their programmatic partnership.
The building is composed of two major pieces:
 existing 1920s heavy-timber & masonry building which contains art studio & gallery spaces and
 steel, glass, & concrete addition above providing living spaces.
The design pairs a 1927, one-story, masonry-and-wood building with a five-story, steel-and-glass addition. The new structure occupies a narrow, 3,240-square-foot slice of the site created by demolishing the back half of the old structure, which had been structurally compromised over the years. The historic structure, originally a car dealership, is stripped back to its bones, yielding an art-making space that is open to the neighborhood and encourages engagement between artists and pedestrians. Full-height, sliding wood windows along Westlake Avenue reveal the art-making process and invite people in, while the addition of awnings overhead provides protection from the elements and encourages passers-by to linger. Building upgrades—including seismic steel moment frames, a new roof, and enhanced mechanical and electrical systems—round out the improvements to the older building. A mezzanine, inserted between two of the large Howe trusses in the old building, is day lit by a large, 13x15-foot skylight, which opens up views from the street to the apartments above and provides office space for MadArt.
The 19,910-square-foot addition houses twelve residential units—ten lofts, a one bedroom flat, and a penthouse apartment. Outdoor living at each unit including a wrap-around balcony for the penthouse, and a shared roof deck, provide unique exterior views and neighborhood connections. No-nonsense in its aesthetic, the addition shares the utilitarian spirit of the older structure. Finishes include polished concrete floors, and salvaged and repurposed wood windows used to enclose the mezzanine and wood roof sheathing reclaimed from the original structure used for common area wall surfaces. By preserving the historic, pedestrian-oriented character of the neighborhood, the building provides neighborhood continuity and activation, and a new way to think about living with art.
47+7 makes an immediate impression; the unique visage of its steel exoskeleton communicating the gravity of its innovative design. However, taking a closer look at this apartment building reveals subtle refinements. In contrast to the rigid outer structure, a softer element emerges through the sheen of the exterior skin, resulting in a display of ephemeral colors. Yet further inspection presents outstanding attention to detail; fine grain patterning in the railings, back-lit metal signage, and an abundance of foliage and community seating — lending a quality of modernity, yet with a sense of timelessness.
47+7 was conceived from a union of structural form and practical function, built from a kit of unique and patent-pending prefabricated parts, and inspired by the technology and natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
The project features 24 units at 466-595 sf each. The structure is a steel frame with concrete slab on grade. Levels 2-6 are composed of a total of 129 discrete floor, wall, and roof panels, delivered pre-assembled with plumbing, electrical, fire sprinklers, and finishes fully integrated. This allowed a lean construction crew of just 10 people to handle 90% fewer parts than typical for a building this size, cutting construction time by 50% and delivering a highly sustainable, aesthetically appealing building.
The walls are structurally insulated panels, prefabricated to a tolerance less than ¼”, creating superior moisture, thermal, and acoustic performance. Solar panels heat water for domestic use and hydronic radiant heat, providing heating and hot water 10 months out of the year. The interior casework has a recycled core with bamboo veneer. Each unit contains an all-in-one electrical panel, enabling 15 low voltage LED light fixtures to be employed. All 500+ lights on the building use merely 0.4 watts per sf; less than 50% of the energy code, and wireless smart home technology facilitates additional energy savings. Monthly electric bills are around $7/month/unit.
With its iconic form and highly visible site, 47+7 serves as a new landmark for sustainable living in Seattle’s University District. The property’s small footprint makes it a generous, contextual neighbor. Open circulation and thoughtful community space foster an active and social lifestyle. Small space living is optimized by a flexible wall grid that can be used to hang shelves, artwork, or outdoor equipment. 47+7’s design achieves transparency through floor-to-ceiling glazing and open circulation, while the structure conveys strength and stability conducive to feeling at home and comfortably secure.
Clark Design Group
80 Main is located in Pioneer Square on the site previously occupied by the Argens Lock & Safe Company building. As a new building located in Seattle’s oldest historic district, it was very important that the project be sympathetic to its surroundings in design, composition and scale.
A number of general defining features can be found in the buildings adjacent to the site, as well as throughout the district. The typical Pioneer Square building uses a classic composition, with base, middle, and top. There is also precedence for using multi-story bay windows in the middle section above the base as a way to articulate and modulate the façade. 80 Main was designed with a similar horizontal configuration. A more repetitive pattern, through the use of pilasters, window placement and façade relief, was used on the first five levels to break down the scale and strengthen the connection with the lower-story buildings on either side.
While it was important to take the existing fabric of the neighborhood into consideration, it was equally important not to recreate it. Contemporary materials signal that this is new construction. 80 Main includes natural board-formed concrete that has the horizontality of brick, yet is clearly modern. Vinyl windows, fiber cement boards and laser cut aluminum screens reinforce its present-day distinctness.
Color plays an important role in both fitting in and standing apart. As red could have been seen as an attempt to mimic brick, a more subtle and modern palette of colors was chosen. Using lighter colors on the top two floors also helped ease the height differential between 80 Main and historic buildings nearby.
Through its careful design, 80 Main is sympathetic to its neighbors, yet also plays a modern role in offering new housing for residents wishing to live in this lively, historic neighborhood.
Throughout the globe, we enter anonymous glass facades and disappear into stainless steel 6x8-foot boxes which whisk us away from the activity down below.
The experience of entering offices, meeting rooms and cubicles in conventional high-rise buildings can be rote, unmemorable and detached from the city to which we desire to connect. Oftentimes, huge concrete cores keep tenant teams from engaging in a meaningful manner.
The concept for 888 Second Avenue seeks to redefine the experience of working and relating to buildings and the city in the urban environment.
888 Second Avenue is a 1.2 million square foot mixed-use project comprised of retail, office, and residential units This 60-story, 888-foot-high tower will reside in the heart of Seattle’s downtown core. It will likely be the second tallest building in the Pacific Northwest when completed.
The unique design of 888 Second Avenue is rooted in three overarching concepts:
-An open, accessible ground-plane connecting pedestrian traffic through the city.
-A 40-story atrium linking tenants to each other, to nature, and to the city.
-An innovative systems approach that reduces resource usage.
Compared to a conventional tower, this design looks to optimize the scale of the building in relating to the surrounding urban environment; give space back to the pedestrian experience and enhance the ground-level streetscape; bring ample natural light and a sense of transparency into the building; and redefine and energize the workplace experience by activating spaces that serve as key social and collaboration hubs.
University of Washington
A POCKET GYM
The typology of the Pocket Gym is predicated on Seattle’s need for community oriented fitness facilities. The intent of the Pocket Gym concept is, that through carefully chosen sites and programming, Seattle can meet increased demand while simultaneously raising the overall health of it’s population. The sites chosen for Pocket Gyms are the leftover parcels, typically in the form of urban triangles, caused by the merger of Seattle’s modern grid with historic, non-orthogonal thoroughfares. Seattle developed around these thoroughfares, and as a result, many neighborhood borders are defined by their existence. Consequently, Pocket Gyms sites are characterized by their role of being ‘in-between’; executed on interstitial parcels where neighborhoods collide. Here we find both the challenge and opportunity of the Pocket Gym.
FOR ALL KINDS
Modern gyms are evolving. Each year, new forms of exercise are popularized and require unique and flexible spaces to house them. But the modern gym should also be responsive to people – what do people want when they exercise, and what would make people want to exercise more? By crafting more specific spaces for fitness, ones that respond to the particular clientele and program, this project seeks to create environments that aim to raise the desirability of gym membership and usage; this is done by considering two main aspects of the gym experience: interactions and environments. Gym members fall into two main groups; those that desire to see and be seen, EXTROVERTS, and those that view exercise as a more pensive activity, INTROVERTS. There is a strong correlation between these two camps and the different types of exercise offered in a gym; Weightlifting, for example, is generally very social and public while yoga is meditative. In the pocket gym these two program groups are separated and, as a result, a series of social narratives are possible depending on client preference. This separation also allows for programs of similar content to be stacked, respond to environmental characteristics as a group, and through the harnessing natural light, create environments that suit the different types of fitness.
A recent NPR report proposes that beyond college cost and curriculum, broader qualities like emotional support for students are more effective ways to improve educational and life outcomes. Within a technical college context, the project integrates student, faculty, project and instructional areas to provide pedagogical overlap to nurture student growth and support broader outcomes toward a variety of educational capabilities and socio-economic conditions. The project brief also inspired an exploration into how craft and design methodologies are shared between building technologies and information architecture.
The ATC project is the second building on campus and focuses on broadcast technologies and STEM-oriented programs. The adjacent building is a brutalist concrete building and houses the local public TV station. The new building respects the brutalist architectural context and uses concrete as the formal armature to assemble the various educational components.
Unique learning arrangements are created by co-locating collaborative spaces as educational linkages between faculty offices, project areas and instructional spaces. Multiple modes and styles of teaching/learning are blended to provide different capabilities for cross teaching and greater educational effectiveness. Emotional and instructional support are increased through these overlapped uses. Project oriented work, collaborative discussion, inquiry and interaction among faculty and students is heightened through intentional connectivity. The server, for example, was placed in a tower behind glass to function as both infrastructural nucleus and immersive teaching space.
The project is LEED Gold certified and incorporates multiple sustainable features including a ground coupled water source that supplies the HVAC system and a heat recovery system that extracts the significant heat energy expended by the technology server tower to heat domestic water. Modular built faculty offices, S.I.P.’s panels and prefabricated plumbing systems are incorporated in the design to conserve resources, optimize energy use and embodied energies.
Formally, the accentuation of identifiable building elements symbolize the craft and design methodologies of computer and broadcast assemblies. Concrete was chosen as a timeless framework to support flexible educational components that change over time as programs, market needs and technologies evolve. The large Broadcast Studio provides an iconic element along the public right of way and anchors the interior space celebrating events and broadcast programming. A server tower, an interactive “U Tube Cube” and unique teaching/learning spaces are identifiable components that assimilate infrastructure and learning places for immersive education and interaction with faculty.
The Allen Institute for Brain Science was designed to embody a research philosophy founded on team science, big science and open science with a mission to accelerate the understanding of how the human brain works in health and disease.
The design inspiration was to create a research environment that encourages collaborative interaction in order to facilitate rapid advancements in brain research. Conventional lab organization stratifies functional uses with linear zones of programs. In contrast, the innovative design of the Allen Institute is organized as “petals” of functional spaces arrayed around a central atrium that visually and spatially connects the activities and maximizes daylight and views.
Conventional research buildings lack transparency and connection among uses and to the outside world. The Allen Institute design solves this problem by organizing programs and spaces to naturally bring groups together to foster a sense of community and to expose research activities - labs are transparent and can be viewed from the interior and exterior.
The building and site design incorporate a holistic approach to sustainable and high performance features including extensive use of daylight while minimizing glare and heat gain, re-use of historic structures, operable windows, heat recapture from the data center, and other integrated systems strategies that earned LEED Gold certification without compromising the scientific research mission.
The design incorporates art, landscape, public space, and transparency to core functions which are by nature transformative. The building merges the leading edge of research with the historic building fabric of the Pacific and Ford McKay buildings, which served as automobile dealerships in the early 1900’s. The historic buildings were disassembled and stored for the widening of Mercer and were then reconstructed and integrated into the new structure as public gallery and retail space at street level.
Graphite Design Group
The street plays an often common, pedestrian role in our urban experience. It is a connector. An address. A through-way. A conveyance. A path to your destination. But what happens when the street itself becomes The Place. The experience. The heart of the community. Eighth Avenue presents an opportunity to realize such a transformation. Lined with mature sweetgum trees, a vestige of a mid-century library that has outlived its utility, the street sets the stage for the for a welcoming outdoor room. The buildings on either side, in deference to the power of this central focal point, inflect at mid-block to bring light, space and presence to this outdoor theater. Subtle shifts of urban call-and-response embrace and energize the woonerf , providing a diversity of spaces and moments to engage.
Companion buildings facing each other across this newly energized street, the uniquely shaped and detailed 300 and 333 8th Ave North create a generously lush urban living room while providing over 400,000 SF of urban office space with supporting retail and amenities. The two buildings are shaped to embrace the tree canopy and to provide ample room for a variety of outdoor spaces serving neighborhood residents and visitors. The distinctive façades are at once modern and familiar, taking cues from the rhythm and proportion of the neighboring residential buildings while employing contemporary materials and details that bring scale and tactility to the form. They create context for a place that puts people and environment first, transitioning from surrounding large-scale buildings to a more intimate and engaging experience. The end result is the transformation of what was once a blighted backwater street into what now promises to be the vibrant urban heart of the neighborhood.
Runberg Architecture Group
Located adjacent to Seattle Center, site of the 1962 World’s Fair and inspired by this Googie architecture, Astro Apartments’ design embraces the space-age futurism aesthetic. Mid-century concepts guided design decisions at every scale, including the overall building form, cantilevering cornices, butterfly roof at the penthouse, façade modulation, signage and furnishings. The façade treatment instills a dynamic pattern of window openings, stepped storefront mullions, and sculptural precast concrete columns. The lighting and signage detail affirms the signature styling as well. An S-shaped form expresses movement with a planar shift that divides the long facades into smaller, asymmetrical pieces with recessed courtyards.
This half-block in-fill development stitches together both ends with dynamic mixed-use retail and residential activity. To accommodate pedestrian movement to and from events at Seattle Center, recessed street-level retail spaces increase sidewalk width and provide covered plazas. Two independent levels of underground parking – one serving residents and another for the commercial space and events – are accessed off the alley. Capitalizing on the site topography allowed a dynamic, two-story lobby and retail facades. These spaces evoke a delicate transparent base supported by expressive columns, with a heavier floating mass above – a hallmark of the mid-century modern aesthetic.
David Coleman Architecture
BEAR RUN CABIN
Program – Cabin for two, studio outbuilding, porch, courtyard.
Intention – To create a modest, sustainable building with a sense of place within a vast landscape.
Location – A rain-drenched, wilderness parcel in the north Cascade Mountains.
Name – Named for an encounter between client and bear during construction (it wasn't the bear who ran!).
Cost – A very modest $225 per square foot (not including client sweat equity).
Conservation – To preserve the rugged, natural site, a 30' x 100' building footprint was established. No construction was to take place outside of that footprint.
Parti – Two buildings are offset in a yin-yang manner. The resulting outdoor spaces – one merging with the landscape, the other rising above it – are varied to capture different qualities of the site.
Inspiration – Building forms mirror the jagged peaks of the nearby mountains to create a simple, elemental presence.
Legacy – Geothermal; super-insulation; passive solar; hydro electricity generated nearby. Conditioned spaces are small and "seasonally expansive", reducing heating and cooling loads.
Since opening in 1992, the 53-acre Bellevue Botanical Garden has become one of the most popular public gardens in the Pacific Northwest. A growing interest in native plantings and gardening, as well as expanded programs, has drawn large crowds to the botanical gardens in recent years. The design of the new visitor center answers these needs while blurring the boundaries between architecture and the gardens. Balancing civic function with residential scale and attention to detail, the visitor center creates intimate, inspirational spaces that allow for exploration as well as quiet reflection.
The project is comprised of new construction, renovation and site work. The centerpiece is a new 8,500 square foot LEED® Gold certified visitor center complex which includes a covered outdoor orientation space, a gift shop, meeting space, concession area, education space, office space and restrooms. The various program areas are arranged in a series of smaller structures situated under two large, organizing roofs; together, they read as one unified L-shaped building.
Courtyards interspersed between the structures reinforce connections to landscape while broad roof overhangs, fernery walls and gardens unite the spaces and create a natural flow between indoors and out. One larger educational space can be subdivided into several multi-purpose classrooms and meeting spaces; these spaces can expand via large rolling doors that open onto the gardens. Designed to address a rising interest in all-ages education at the garden, these flexible spaces accommodate a wide range of programming, including the garden’s Living Lab Program, a youth-oriented program providing science and botany-related educational opportunities.
The existing parking lot has been reconfigured to double the garden’s current capacity and provide safer pedestrian access to the visitor center complex. The entry sequence has been reworked to bring guests alongside the new center through an allée of trees that screens the view of the parking area. The parking lot also helps to ground the visitors’ experience of the garden beginning with the moment they enter the site.
In addition to the new buildings, the project includes the renovation of the Shorts residence (built in 1957), which was designed by noted Pacific Northwest architect, Paul Kirk. The 2,300 square foot former residence of Cal and Harriet Shorts, which has served as the visitor center since the garden’s inception will now function as an auxiliary library and living room for the garden after its transformation back to a residential space.
One of the oldest churches in the exurban tech city outside of Seattle, the First Congregational Church congregation was established in 1896. Since the 1990’s, the church’s social service and congregational needs have been outgrowing their existing building and in 2013, the congregation sold their well-located downtown property, currently located on the central corridor in downtown Bellevue. Reinvesting, on the edge of the downtown, just ½ mile away, the church adapts a classic lowrise suburban 1970’s office building into their future space of worship and community outreach. The strategic move assumes the city will grow to encompass their new site, ensuring future economic stability for the congregation. The adaptive reuse of a tired, commercial real estate building type into a spiritual space not only commits to ecological sustainability by reusing an existing building, but provides a twist on the broader national trend of converting our existing spiritual spaces into commercial uses.
The architect converted a typical multi-tenant office space into a space capable of creating awe. Within the strict grid of the two-story building, the new form of the sanctuary was inserted, pushing out existing walls and roof, creating a new definitive form within the existing matrix. Delineation between the northern interior wall and ceiling was collapsed by using CLT, or cross-laminated-timber panels, as structure and finish material. The CLT panels are inserted as an irregular, folded plate structure insuring both greater structural stability as well as a rich interplay of light, shadow and the warm texture of the Canadian White Pine of the white-washed CLT panels. Shafts of skylights are inserted into this composite skin dissolving the edges of the 40’ high space through high northern light. The use
of cross-laminated timber highlights the Pacific Northwest’s regional relationship to timber, reduces the project’s overall carbon footprint, and humanizes the cold sterility of the existing two-story ribbon-window stucco building. A new bell tower at the street edge of the site is scaled to announce the new use to the vehicular-oriented context and pedestrian visitor alike. The project was completed in March of 2016 on a very tight budget of $160/SF.
Fuller Sears Architects
The retail shopping experience is a huge contributor to urban vitality and as a design typology it is often overlooked. The successful integration of large-format retail into an urban environment is a challenge that we aspire to as architects and urban designers and one we believe deserves consideration.
Located in Bellevue, this two-story retail project reflects the new density which is coming to many urban settings such as Bellevue's- Wilburton area. This retail project presents a strong visual character at the edge of two heavily travelled streets while at the same time offering an engaging sidewalk experience for pedestrians.
Critical Questions for a Large Format Multi-Story Retail Projects:
• Does the shopper find it easy to access the garage and navigate with an easily discernible route? Access and way-finding was maximized utilizing multiple access points at various levels to minimize site circulation while clarifying accessibility.
• Does the pedestrian experience between retail levels and/or parking, draw the visitor from car to store entrance in an interesting and efficient way? The breezeway between buildings provided a two-story common circulation area with natural light which draws the customers in an intriguing way. This breezeway extends to 4th Street via a “covered porch” which welcomes customers to the common entry.
• Does the exterior design reflect the urban design goals of it’s site, provide the retailers’ needed presence and image, and also a compelling design which provides a unique Sense of Place? The current more sophisticated shopper, appreciates design which is appropriate to their locale and dismisses the “Anywhere USA” design prototype. New development in this locale, replaces existing car dealerships and auto service centers in an area which is currently car dominated but transferring into a more pedestrian friendly experience. Building composition and exterior materials reflects this past and a Northwest vernacular all while, complementing it’s retail users. The “big window” provides a visual lantern to the adjacent freeway and downtown Bellevue, while providing a internal glimpse of the REI outdoor experience.
• Does the loading, garbage and service areas operate behind the scenes with no impact on the retail experience? This was provided with careful planning, to avoid exposure to the surroundings and retail entrances.
• Is adequate signage provided from critical approaches, to ensure all retailers the visibility they require? Exterior building composition accommodated the various tenant signage needs with careful anticipation while still providing a cohesive design.
The Bellevue Youth Theatre is designed as environmental sculpture in the 34 acre Crossroads International Park in Bellevue, Washington. The lawn in the park rolls up and over the theatre with openings in the lawn for the entry plaza, offices, and the outdoor stage with slopped seating areas on the lawn. The living roof is seamlessly integrated into thesurrounding park lawn. The lawn area on the roof provides an occupiable space over the theatre as well as sound attenuation, storm water management and visual continuity of the park. The theatre does not displace existing park green space and allows the park users to continue to enjoy walking or picnicking on the roof of the theatre.
One hundred and fifty patrons can be seated in the round in various seating configurations. The Green/Rehearsal Room is designed to open into the theatre or it can open up to the outdoor stage area. Around the theatre are rooms that are subservient support spaces to the theatre. These include the Lobby, Office, Ticket Booth, Concession Booth,Theatre Storage, Classrooms, Dressing Room, Costume Storage, Rehearsal/Green Room, Sound/Lighting Booths, Mechanical/Electrical Rooms and public toilets.
A concrete entry plaza is designed as an extension of the Lobby. Landscaping plants at the plaza will give this area a more urban landscaped feeling since this is a captured area in the park. The exterior and lobby walls are exposed concrete with a random striated vertical pattern giving the illusion of the walls were extruded out of the earth in two foot increments.
Light trumpets extend from the lawn. They have a wide base which narrows toward skylight apertures at the top that provides natural light into the support spaces around the main theater space. Mechanical exhaust and supply ducts, toilet exhaust fan ducts, and plumbing roof vents reach up through these ‘trumpets’ into louvers that are behind the rain screen painted aluminum panels, completely hidden from view in the park. The exhaust dome at the center of the green roof is used to exhaust unwanted hot air rather than using energy to mechanical cool the hot air and re-circulate it back into the theater. A geothermal system provides heat to heat pumps. Fourteen 300’ deep wells are bored just outside the building on the south side.
The project achieved a Gold LEED rating.
Graphite Design Group
The peninsula of reclaimed land that forms the southern shore of Lake Union has seen a diversity of uses over two centuries; a park, a museum, a Center for Wooden Boats, a Naval Reserve Armory. But before all of these it was a sawmill, where old growth timber from northwest forests would be collected, sorted, sawn and stacked. These stacks of drying lumber are the inspiration for the form of Block 25.
The mixed-use proposal for Block 25 features ground floor public spaces, a 6-story office podium, and 14-story residential tower. Addressing the lake with its truncated ends, the podium takes the form of stacked linear planks that make reference to the palletized assemblages that once defined the lakefront. Elevated above the historic shoreline’s slope, the building form projects a strong directionality and presence, seeming to float above the surrounding context. Linear slots on either side introduce texture and layering reminiscent of tree bark, while dramatically cantilevered ends frame views of the city and lake beyond. A south-facing bris sole provides visual animation, solar control, and screening of the interior from the tens of thousands of passing cars on Mercer Avenue, while the north façade affords unobstructed multi-story views of Lake Union. Below it all, a crafted composition of wood-clad boxes define the pedestrian realm and frame exterior and interior spaces, mediating the boundary between building and site.
In counterpoint to the horizontal stack of the podium, the vertical tower anchors the west side of the block with an equally crisp tectonic expression. A layered skin treatment knits together the mixed-use program of office and residential into one unified form. Fluid, undulating bands of texture cloak the tower in a curtainwall that is at once formally simple yet visually rich and complex. Taken as a whole, the composition mediates the broad, open scale of the lake basin with the dense, tightly knit urban fabric to the south. While inspired by historic, utilitarian forms, Block 25 is a confident, contemporary response to this threshold site.
SITE CHARACTER University of Alaska, Fairbanks’ academic year occurs during the darkest part of year with temperatures reaching -45°F. A major intention of Phase 1 of UAF’s master plan was to create a greater sense of student life and a ‘beacon of place’ at the center of the University to enliven the campus. To realize this, the design of the Wood Center Expansion creates a colorful, vibrant beating heart of the campus with the integration of the Northern Lights’ influence of color and light on sensory perceptions to invigorate and attract the students while leveraging technological solutions to keep them warm. The student-centered expansion includes a new dining room to accommodate 500, servery, coffee house, lounge space, and various study/collaboration areas.
BUILDING COMMUNITY AND SUPPORTING LEARNING We set out to reactivate UAF’s hub of student life. The team created a community for students, staff, and faculty, particularly encouraging 1st and 2nd year student retention. The design concept organizes seating into neighborhoods each with distinctive furniture, fabric, and ceiling components at varying scales. These varied scales create communities for large groups as well as small intimate study groups. Unique spaces were integrated such as seating along the windows, which previously were underutilized and uncomfortable, a feature lounge hovering on the second floor, and an internet bar.
TECHNOLOGY FOR SUSTAINABLE STRATEGIES The Wood Center integrates a variety of sustainable strategies complying with the aspirational 2030 Challenge for energy use reduction; especially challenging in Fairbank’s sub-arctic climate. The project is achieving a 79% reduction in energy use through a high-performance building envelope, radiant floor heating, daylighting deep into the space, and highly efficient mechanical equipment. Designing the right building envelope was key to the project’s success. With temperatures dropping below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, we researched innovative technological solutions for developing a building skin with high thermal performance. In collaboration with Dow Corning, we integrated Vacuum Insulated Panel (VIP) technology within an insulated glass unit—the first global installation. The building’s sustainability initiatives are monitored in real-time metrics. It is publicly displayed on a dashboard contributing to UAF’s commitment.
CULTIVATING SPIRIT The Wood Center has created pride within the community shown by the increased number of visitors and new programs utilizing the dining expansion’s multipurpose space and coffee shop including First Friday Art Show and Open Mic and Poetry Slam night. The connected and transparent design is a welcome addition to the campus context.
The Brooks Sports Headquarters building, also known as Stone34, is the first project to use the City of Seattle’s Living Building Pilot Program, requiring 75% reductions in energy and domestic water consumption, 50% on-site stormwater reuse, wide-ranging contributions to the public realm and ecology of the site, as well as a built-in post-occupancy monitoring program. The project achieves all of these benchmarks while adhering to market-rate rental pricing, demonstrating profit potential for the future of sustainable development.
Conceived as an urban trailhead, the ground level plan emphasizes 8,500 sf of open space forming a community node on the Burke-Gilman bike and pedestrian trail, and a gracious civic plaza supporting retail on 3 sides of the block. The project site at the intersection of two eclectic neighborhoods anchors an emerging “urban village” corridor zoned for high-density mixed use development. The project fuses the tenant’s philosophy of promoting active outdoor life with a heightened sense of connection to the environment, including public dashboard systems that reflect data on daily consumption patterns. A grand exterior stairwell, clad in energy-efficient glass, connects the office floors with the street, celebrating the act of taking the stairs and creating a close relationship between the tenant and the community.
The 4 office floors are highly transparent to the street, with a digitally modeled glazing pattern that balances daylight, views, glare, and heat gain considerations. The social nature of the street plaza continues upward, by way of two terraces and a rooftop deck, creating continuous connections with the outdoors and the urban realm with views of downtown Seattle and Lake Union. Green exterior walls reinforce this continuity, providing edible plants that can be enjoyed by the community, as well as a habitat stepping stone for birds and insects.
The owner, tenant, and city work together to continually monitor the energy and water consumption targets. Users monitor the impact of behavior choices and office policies through quantitative digital dashboards, as well as a kinetic sculpture in the lobby with mechanical flowers that bloom when performance is healthy. Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems respond to the unique assets of the Pacific Northwest climate, such as rainwater collection which supplies three-quarters of non-potable demand.
Stone34 demonstrates to Seattle and other cities how green design can become fundamental to successful market-based urban development, generating vitality across a holistic range of economic, social, and environmental dimensions.
The Miller Hull Partnership
"The era of harm reduction, half steps and lesser evils is behind us. As a society, we need to be bold in ways that
were once unimaginable. Luckily in the building sector, we now can imagine where we need to go. In fact, we don’t
need to just imagine it. We can touch, experience, learn from, and replicate it." – Denis Hayes
The Bullitt Center takes cues from nature, like a living organism incorporates simplicity and efficiency in its
interconnected systems. It is the first commercial building to achieve Living Building certification. As a market rate building, it validates the model of a high performance structure using a developer model. It also serves as a living laboratory of environmental awareness highlighting the interconnectedness of sustainable design to architecture, energy use, materials sourcing, government policy and financing. Open floors with operable floor-to-ceiling windows maximize daylight and natural ventilation; heavy-timber framing is a beautiful renewable regional material offering carbon sequestration; fully automated exterior blinds provide a dynamic, layered facade that adjusts throughout the day; and most visibly--the overhanging photovoltaic panel array on the roof provides all power for the building.
Designing a building with essentially no environmental footprint requires a balanced solution combining a highly
efficiency envelope and mechanical system, operable windows and exterior blinds, lighting power reductions,
reductions in plug loads through technology and controls, and operational changes by building tenants.
The result: a building designed to use 230,000 kWh/year, for an EUI of 16 kBtu/SF. Since opening it operates at an EUI between 10 and 11 -- well below the level of any comparable North American office building, and leading to net positive status by a significant margin. Bullitt’s heating and cooling energy needs are only about 15% of the total, and the biggest end uses in the project are office equipment and electric lighting. Together, these account for almost 2/3 of the building’s energy budget. It is net positive due to energy efficiencies in all plugged items.
The site was chosen for its accessibility, in an area primed for economic development by Seattle’s Central Area Action Plan for strategic neighborhood improvements. The adjacent park was revitalized as part of the project into a vibrant public space, reconnecting the site to the neighborhood. Since opening in April 2013, 6000+people have toured the building including foreign heads of state, government officials, design and engineering professionals, and students of all ages.
Capitol Hill is one of Seattle’s most urban and diverse neighborhoods. The commercial district around the station is a truly dynamic blend of retail, residential lofts, and social activity – and it was critical to Sound Transit and the community that the architecture of the new light rail station reflect the neighborhood’s energy, enhance its connection to the greater Seattle community, while providing a centering point for future commercial and residential development.
The station platform is 90 feet below grade. It is critical that passengers are presented with an intuitive, safe, and delightful experience. The station platform is served by three entrances. The most complex entrance is off the intersection of Broadway and John; there is another at the Seattle Community College with an underground passage to the mezzanine level and a third entrance adjacent to Cal Anderson Park – a community gathering place. Natural light through clerestories lead passengers to their destination and provide a setting for outstanding art pieces by Mike Ross (Jet Kiss) and Ellen Forney (Crossed Pinkies and Walking Fingers)
The essence of connection – from a local to regional scale – particularly inspired the design team. Not only does this light rail station function as a key component for local mobility, but it also is a vital connector in a large-scale regional transportation plan.
The design at the platform is simple and utilitarian incorporating elements of continuity within the Sound Transit system (i.e. pavers, wayfinding braids, and signage). Structural braces cross the station at two levels to alleviate hydrostatic pressure and provide a cathedral-like ceiling form.
Harbor Steps is a bridge from the Seattle’s historic waterfront up to present day downtown. The map of 1890 shows University Street connecting the old UW campus to the harbor. This historical urban underpinning grounds our design proposal, which looks back at domestic comfort injected into public space to stimulate discussion, memory associations and curiosity. In a larger sense we feel this rumination on domestic space provokes dialogue on housing challenges facing Seattle. Instead of making a political statement we proposed to insert familiar furnishings into Harbor Steps.
In conjunction with the 2016 Seattle Design Festival, a series of three 8’x10’ wood-frame platforms were temporarily placed up and down Harbor Steps. Each one was uniquely furnished with a sofa, chairs, table, and lamp. However, each was individually colored: white, bright green and blue. The bold color covered the entire platform including every seam of fabric and furniture to create a form that is familiar yet appears carved from a block of color material. At night the platforms lit up and activated the public space. Curated musical playlists with world beats from South America, Eastern and Central Europe, Cuba, India and Africa amplified the platforms from within. Some visitors experienced the platforms as rest stops for travel up and down the Steps. But each platform was stocked with history books about the waterfront, poetry, etc. so that they could read and listen as if inhabiting a living room. In addition we stocked cabinet drawers with clothing and personal articles that could be discovered and ported away. These platforms, as strange attractors unpack the novelty of found objects intentionally moving toward familiarity within unfamiliar territory: “what were the stories embodied by these objects”?
The concept is more ‘open ended’ than contained. Boundaries associated with domestic privacy are non-existent in this setting. In collaboration with a local theater company, the platforms stage experimental theater and live performance. Additional arrangements were made with local poets and musicians, but the chance use by public participants was the most interesting. We assumed the public would view these platforms as follies, utopian ephemeral installations, potentially as an extension of the adjacent Seattle Art Museum. We created a hashtag (#carvedfromcolor) for visitors to post selfies and group photos of their journey in-out-up-down Harbor Steps.
Suyama Peterson Deguchi
The new Center for Architecture & Design (CfAD) is a civic and office space shared by four organizations: AIA Seattle, Design in Public, Seattle Architecture Foundation, and AIA Washington Council. Located in the historic National Building in downtown Seattle along Western Avenue, the CfAD brings together a community of people all interested in the discussion and promotion of design and architecture. Completed in January 2016, the creation of the 4,100 SF CfAD was driven by the four organizations overlap in members and audience and the desperate need for a shared space within the Seattle design community to host public lectures, events and exhibits. Along with sharing resources, the space provides the organizations with critical funding opportunities through hosting traveling national exhibits and large public events, offering sustainability and increasing public exposure.
Catering to a wide range of users, the charge of the CfAD was to not only be a working center for architects and designer but be visible, approachable and inviting to the public as well. The program necessitated extreme flexibility of space to accommodate lectures for at least 40 people, exhibits requiring 200 lineal feet, multiple meeting rooms to be used simultaneously by the different organizations, areas for privacy and still be open and visible from the street – and all on an extremely tight budget. The most efficient way to achieve this was by creating a box with four moving walls that can be manipulated into different configurations to define a space for large meetings/lectures, an open space for gatherings and linear spaces for exhibits. Other programmatic elements include a reception desk, public lounge, resource library, small meeting room, kitchen with staff work area, an open office with eighteen staff desks, and storage.
Our biggest opportunity wasn’t just the design, but to use our creative abilities to make this project a reality. With such a limited budget and so many stake holders, we assisted at all levels from initially securing the space, facilitating the design committee, fundraising, and construction administration. Some of the most gratifying parts of the process were finding materials, labor and trades that could be donated and working it into the design. It required an open mind and creativity that led to changing our preconceived ideas of what a Design Center should be. Through the collaborative process and numerous design iterations the CfAD evolved into a working center promoting design and not simply, of design.
Originally constructed to house a Dr. Pepper bottling plant and later a recycling center, the design of the new Charles Smith Wines Jet City preserves much of the building’s hard-won industrial patina. The design team was inspired by winemaker Charles Smith’s in-your-face attitude to create a raw space that highlights the original aesthetics of the building and surrounding Georgetown neighborhood.
The transformation of this 1960s-era building involved replacing a portion of the exterior street-side façade with a span of 19-foot-by-60-foot windows, opening the building to the neighborhood and views of Mount Rainier – and plane after plane alighting on the tarmac at King County International Airport. Nearly seven-foot-tall letters wrap the top of the building in billboard fashion, announcing “Charles Smith Wines Jet City.”
The 32,000 square foot building is composed of two structures, a two-story building and a contiguous open-structure steel truss warehouse. Together, they provide space for everything from grape crush, barrel storage and bottling to tasting rooms and sales space.
Once through the twenty-foot-tall steel entry door, visitors have the choice of two tasting rooms. The rustic, entry-level lounge features polished concrete floors, exposed wood joists, sliding black steel wall panels, wood cocktail tables made from salvaged laminated 6” x 6”s, and a bar made of stacked, salvaged wood.
A plate-steel staircase inserted into the original structure connects the first-floor lounge to the expansive second-floor tasting room. The winery’s second story celebrates Seattle’s aviation history and effectively captures an early 1960s aviation vibe with its original wood floor planks and white tuck-and-roll upholstered perimeter seating; a large Lucite tasting bar on wheels sits center stage with a base painted in 1961 Ford Fairlane blue. This tasting room overlooks the runways of Boeing Field and provides dramatic views of Mt. Rainier, while a second set of interior windows allows guests to view the winemaking process. The second floor also contains a full commercial kitchen, which allows the winery to host harvest lunches and fully catered events.
The open floor space where the tanks and barrels are located serves as at the heart of the building. The entry level and upper tasting rooms look onto the first-floor production area, revealing the inner workings of the winemaking process – whether it’s harvesting grapes or barrel aging vintages. This 8,000 square foot production floor can also be turned into an event space for 800 people during non-harvest seasons.
Founded in 1869 as a women’s college, Chatham University has nurtured leaders for decades, including icon environmentalist Rachel Carson (Class of ’29). After receiving the donation of 388-acre Eden Hall Farm north of Pittsburgh, Chatham embarked on an audacious goal to create the world’s first net positive university—an immersive environment for research and hands-on learning, modeling and testing strategies for healthy sustainable living for more than 1,200 full time residents.
DESIGN CONCEPT: NEW FARM
Whereas traditional farms utilize natural resources to create food, the Eden Hall Campus is a “new farm” that generates more energy than it uses, is a water resource, produces food, recycles nutrients, and supports habitat and healthy soils while developing the next generation of environmental stewards. It has been envisioned as a “living lab” that will engage students and attract participation locally, nationally and internationally.
Phase one is complete and includes a dormitory, field lab, café and dining commons with classrooms designed to support 250 students. Site infrastructure includes an amphitheater, a demonstration landscape called the Mosaic Field, a state-of-the-art hoop house and aquaculture facility for year-round production, and constructed wetlands to provide biological wastewater treatment with water and nutrient recovery. Linked energy systems include photovoltaic panels, solar hot water, geothermal and microturbine cogeneration.
PROGRAM AND PLACEMAKING
Buildings and site circulation are laid out to physically and experientially celebrate the site’s role as the headwaters of the Ohio River. Visitors walk along the natural path of water and experience a series of raingardens that filter stormwater and promote a healthy aquifer. New building forms echo the directness of traditional agricultural structures while making transparent and explicit the cutting-edge sustainable strategies they employ.
Situated as an intrinsic part of the Mosaic Field, the simple form of the Field Lab includes an aquaculture lab for sustainable fish production, constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment, and 30-seat classroom. Orchard Residence Hall incorporates photovoltaic sunscreens on the south façade and roof, rainwater harvesting, and radiant ceilings in each dorm room. Centerpiece of campus is the 24,000 sf Esther Barazzone Center with media-rich classrooms and a state-of-the-art, sustainable dining and kitchen facility, including an underground root cellar for energy-efficient food storage. The farm-to-table food system story visually unfolds from the open kitchen/servery, with views across the food production areas of the Mosaic Field to aquaponics systems within the Hoop House and aquaculture systems in the Field Lab.
All learning starts with curiosity. An interaction with nature invites curiosity.
Evolution of the Type
Within a unique natural setting the design proposes an Evolution of the Type to establish long term meaningful architecture. Design blends fluid and dedicated spaces to stimulate informal learning everywhere.
Experiential Architecture — Site Weaving
The site and the building are slowly discovered as one gradually moves through and around the building.
The design integrates sustainable energy saving principles and on-site energy generation to deliver an unusually low Energy Use Index (EUI) of 13.8 (within the top 1% of new schools in the USA). Yet it is the interaction of natural setting and the building which most clearly instills an environmental sensitivity. The whole site becomes a teaching and playing tool.
The building reveals the special character of the site
The site engages the building, and the forest edge frames interior space
The site and the building intertwine
Design Mandate: Create a sense of being on the site as opposed to in the building.
ZGF Architects LLP
The CHI Franciscan Health, Franciscan Medical Pavilion Highline in Burien, Washington, consolidates four medical practice locations into a single, integrated clinic model to share resources, reduce overhead costs, and better serve the growing communities of South King County. The design of the Medical Pavilion Highline’s two-story building fosters the highest quality of medical care while incorporating the flexibility necessary to adapt to evolving medical technology and community needs. The Medical Pavilion Highline—designed using a Lean approach—creates a healing care environment that minimizes waste by optimizing operational efficiency and safety while enhancing patient-centered care.
The building and its program are indicative of CHI Franciscan’s strategy to consolidate medical practices while outsourcing functions once housed within the auspices of a medical facility, such as pharmacy and clinical laboratory services. This simultaneous consolidation and outsourcing created the opportunity for CHI Franciscan to reimagine the patient experience and focus on a teamcare model by creating an inviting space for patients and an efficient workplace for medical staff.
The clinic’s architectural and interior design work together to communicate a clarity of function from the moment patients enter the clinic’s parking lot to the time their visit is complete. The design on the clinic evokes the medical provider’s brand as an organization based in the Pacific Northwest. The values of honesty, clarity, transparency, efficiency and comfort—as represented by this clinic—work to reflect both the operational effectiveness this design enables and the new brand identity of CHI Franciscan Health. That brand is manifest in this building through a simplicity of materials, a clear relationship between massing and interior program, and a sustainable and streamlined Northwest regional aesthetic.
Daylighting design strategies also maximize connections between indoors and outdoors, with ample light provided through expansive fenestration, important given the clinic’s Northwest latitude where skies can often be gray. Floor-to-ceiling windows fill adjoining spaces with light while strengthening the design’s stake in conveying a strong relationship between the outdoors and the interior program to support easier wayfinding. Environmental graphics of the Pacific Northwest also assist in the clinic’s wayfinding sequence for patients while supporting the client’s new image. This is all part of a wider biophilic design strategy that visually connects patients to their regional aesthetic context and the greater outdoors.
Due to the success of this project CHI Franciscan Health has selected this design as the prototype for its ensuing regional clinics.
Sundberg Kennedy Ly Au Young Architects
“From the street, little has changed at 1424 11th Avenue in Seattle’s Pike/Pine neighborhood. Now it’s open to the public, a portal for the hungry, thirsty and curious — or neighbors just looking for a shortcut to 12th Avenue.
But Chophouse Row is much more than a shortcut. Inside the arched opening, a small pedestrian street (the Row in Chophouse Row) is lined with retail corners and nooks, and it leads to an irresistible courtyard with a mezzanine dining level. Chophouse Row is a seven-story mixed-use building with a new structural system bolted onto an old automotive base structure.”
Claire Enlow, freelance journalist, courtesy of the Daily Journal of Commerce.
The design illustrates three space-time scales.
Geological: steep sandstone cliffs, dense forest, and long beaches reflect the massive Eocene sandstone formation (called “Chuckanut” from a native word meaning “Long beach far from a narrow entrance”) fragmented over millennia by tectonic activity.
Anthropological: the Coast Salish peoples, a culture at least 7,000 years old, developed a consistent vernacular architecture: cedar split plank and earthen floor longhouses with massive beams and open spans.
Personal: one arrives at the site via a narrow road cut into the sandstone cliffs that trace the bay.
The home is located on the beach, backed up against a massive wall of sandstone boulders. The house entry sequence is a reflection of the larger landscape of sandstone cliffs bounded by the Salish Sea. Open concrete beams and spans echo without imitating the longhouse. A 10’ hand-adzed cedar door crafted by a local Native American artist reveals a stairway of shifting tectonic concrete forms that lead down past the boulder retaining wall, opening to the living areas with the sea beyond.
We practice architecture in order to evoke pleasure and emotion through the utility and ritual of daily life. Our design is about the lives of particular people as expressed in a specific place: in that way the work is authentically human-centered. That is the fulcrum around which each residential design develops, to create continually rediscovered delight in the home.
The pleasure and emotion experienced by a client is not bounded by walls; it extends throughout every detail inside the home, and beyond the property line to encompass scene and season. For that reason ours is an integrated practice comprising Architecture, Landscape and Interiors; only by directing all of these elements can we derive the best expression of a life on the site.
Overlaying a client’s daily rituals on the site, we identify the best moments and extend them dynamically throughout the plan - an infinite sequence of moments. Analysis of these ‘stochastic’ patterns yields a rationale for massing functional areas of the structure, integrating the particulars of light, views, and climate. A natural and inevitable quality results, a diachronic character that is an extension of human settlements and vernacular forms. We avoid rigorous symmetry or pattern. Shifted massing, horizontally offset planes, and staggered spatial shoulders encourage easy movement and an itinerant gaze — an emphatically non-reductionist approach to the lived experience of the home.
Kwan Henmi Architecture/Planning, Inc.
Cielo is a 32-story, 335-unit, high-rise apartment building located in Downtown Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood; an area of the Financial District that overlooks the Retail Core and is within walking distance to Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market and Waterfront Park. Stepping into the ground floor lobby, visitors and residents are greeted by airy, cloud-like light fixtures that hover in front of the vertical wood slat gateway that frames the building’s main circulation core. Reaching the 31st floor, one is instantly immersed in a stunning 360-degree view of Downtown Seattle with dynamic opportunities for recreation and relaxation. Here, you can work out in the voluminous exercise room, hold private parties by the fireplace in the lounge or along the outdoor terrace, and have access to a fully featured kitchen and outdoor grills, all the while in the company of the sweeping vistas of the water, mountains, and city. On the ground floor, other amenities include a game room, yoga room, and pet spa/dog park. Beneath the ground floor are five levels of subgrade parking with provisions for alternative-fuel vehicles, including charging stations for electric/hybrid cars. The garage is accessed at lower 8th Avenue, conveniently out of the way of the busy intersection along Seneca Street.
Using a combination of glass and metal panels, the design of the tower is a direct response to the varied patchwork of material, color, and proportion of the city hillside. With its splaying surfaces, the building’s character is multifaceted from different vantage points, allowing for appropriate responses to its context. At the base of the building, the design matches the scale of nearby structures and uses transitional heights to correspond to the sloping street front. The use of narrow horizontal terra-cotta panels as the exterior cladding material help to further subdivide the scale of the building at street level for a relatable pedestrian experience.
Surrounding the base of the tower, the ground-level landscape includes a sculpture plaza and promenade, providing a much-needed connection between Seneca Street and Freeway Park. The plaza is a 5,000 square foot publicly accessed open space; the skewed angles of its concrete planters mimic that of the tower that looms above it and compliments the zig-zag paths of the existing elevated parkway. A kinetic sculpture is the centerpiece, attracting curious bypassers as they make their way to and from Freeway Park.
The Pacific Northwest is wet; water is all around us. Glaciers, rivers, and streams have eroded our region for millennia.
One of the main design drivers of this project is the idea of connecting to the beautiful, erosive quality of water in the Northwest.
Here’s how it’s integrated. First, each façade is uniquely sculpted to create a relationship to its immediate context and urban fabric. Additionally, each façade is carved away to allow sheltered, stacked decks for 70% of units. A taught, finely detailed curtainwall seamlessly integrates these decks into each façade, much like a seashell might protrude from a water-tumbled stone.
Shades of blue, another nod to water, are found throughout. The ground-level canopy provides shelter from rain and is rendered in three bluish tones. In the podium, two LED-illuminated marquees diffuse and sparkle at night like light off the surface of water. They are both functional and aesthetic – disguising several levels of parking. Protruding balconies link to small leasable workspaces on the parking levels.
Washington’s Braille Library sits just around the corner from Cirrus Library administrators were concerned how patrons would navigate around the new building on their way to mass transit. It was easy to tap a cane along the smooth, squared-off base of the old building, but the base of Cirrus is pulled back and nipped at the corner. These elements provide human-scale, shelter, relief and modulation along the street, but are difficult for people who travel by touch.
The solution was integrating textured pavers into the sidewalk, which act like a rumble strip on a highway. Now, library patrons can navigate safely, and the streetscape’s aesthetic elements are preserved.
Another streetscape feature is a “green-street parklet” with lush landscape and illuminated benches, an extension of the future city park across the street. Bi-fold café doors fold open from the retail space to “erode the boundaries between public and private.” This level of human-scale activation of the pedestrian realm is rare for high-rises.
Inside and up top, Cirrus contains many unique luxury amenities. The expansive roof deck boasts a lily pond, intimate covered ‘outdoor living rooms’ for private lounging, gathering areas with cozy fireplaces, and private kasbahs for intimate gatherings.
The project is LEED Silver certified thanks to sustainable design including VOC-free products, thoughtful solar orientation, high-performance glazing/operable windows, and high efficiency mechanical, LED lighting systems, and extraordinary overall energy efficiency.
On September 26 of 2016, the government of Colombia and the Farc guerrillas signed a historic agreement to put an end to a Civil War that lasted 52 years and claimed the lives of more than 260,000 people. The Civil War Memorial is a place to awake emotion and preserve the memories of the victims left over the past 50 years of conflict. It will be a place of reflection, mourning and memory.
The Memorial is located between three major avenues: Calle 26, Carrera 30 and the Avenida de las Américas, adjacent to the City Council Square in downtown Bogotá. The location is in a crowded and busy context, incompatible with the project´s purpose. As a result, the building seeks to isolate itself from its surroundings: Inside the Memorial, the only connection to the exterior are the views to the sky.
The relationship with the sky is emphasized by the verticality of the volumes, the water features, and the austere nature of the material palette. The use of simple forms with concrete an water dignify the building and emphasize the solemn and permanent character of the building. This is a Memorial for a country that is united by hope - a place that reminds of our history, a history that cannot be forgotten.
The total area of the project is of 182,146 SF. The project program includes an atrium, an auditorium with seating for 500 spectators, a mezzanine, a play center, six galleries, two parking basements, and a space of mourning. The Memorial entrance is sunk below a body of water, and access to the galleries is done through a free-standing vertical circulation core. Circulation between galleries is made through a series of courtyards, where the only views are the water and the sky. The roof terraces, closer to the sky, are planted with elephant grass: life amongst the concrete surroundings that reminds us of a new beginning.
The memorial will be an iconic component of the “Axis of Peace” – a project that brings together streets, avenues, parks and multiple emblematic buildings with historic significance in Bogotá.
The CLTHouse is a modest, 1,500 sf single-family house for four in Seattle. The project was driven by the different parameters of a small,triangular lot, the need for a light-filled, Urban Cabin and the desire for heritage Pacific Northwest materials. Cross-laminated timber (CLT), commonplace in Europe but emerging building material in the US, was a natural choice to fulfill these requirements. The house experiments with this new tectonic, is the first in Seattle and one of the first structures in the country to utilize Cross-laminated timber.
With increasing urban densification, fragments of sites remain, awkward refugees of history. Triangular, facing an industrial alley and parking lot, the site was once submerged underwater, under the urban lake, and then crafted into development conditions as a result of 20th century marine infrastructure work. A resultant of these pressures, the site’s raw geometry demanded a three-dimensional spatial and intensely interior response, as a respite from these hostile urban conditions. Experienced as a new Northwest beach cabin, the simple blunt massing of the house reflects the directness of these cabins. The dark exterior wood skin is wrapped around the light wood interior walls, opened and revealing an orthogonal court, white and raw, with both ornamental and spatial softness, recalling Siza’s ‘broken rectangles’ of his early urban houses. Interior spatial sequences recall complexities of Loos’ Raumplan at Villa Mueller, or Josef Frank’s beach houses, where dynamic views are carefully screened, then revealed, upwards and outwards around the core to a roof deck, overlooking the lake. The structural use of CLT, rawly revealed on the interior, creates a visceral, natural, yet constructed experience: the hypernatural.
While sensually immersive, the materiality of the house is not a sentimental experience. Performatively, the CLT is a constructed material, industrially cut, pressed, programmed and cut again with digital computer tools. Ecologically, its high carbon sequestration capacity, plays a role in transforming perceptions of complex ecosystems of forest and in opening dialogues between timber and environmental stewards. CLTHouse
used approximately 20 CSFI harvested regional trees for construction. The owner’s family planted 20 additional trees creating the equivalent of 0.25 acre of trees for long term carbon sequestration. Achieving a Built Green 5-star rating, using PassivHaus detailing, targeting 38% lower energy use than Washington State Energy Code, the house was a research vehicle for the fi rm and is being openly shared with a broad interdisciplinary CLT community across the US.
COR Cellars is located on Old Highway 8 just outside of Lyle, WA in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. Within a designated National Scenic Area, the site offers stunning views to the east and west of the carved mountainsides characteristic of the gorge and south across the river to Mount Hood. The project is a 5,200 Sq Ft expansion to an existing winery founded in 2004.
The Columbia River pulls steady westerly winds up through the gorge which become a significant site condition to address while working outside much of the year. Responding to both the landscape and the owner’s requirements led to the use of a courtyard (the heart at the center) as a central organizing system that protects workers and visitors alike from the sometimes harsh conditions of the natural environment. With large overhangs on three sides, the courtyard becomes a memorable and inviting way for visitors to arrive to the winery and be welcomed into the new tasting room. The building berms into the hillside along the north while opening up to the landscape and grand views of Mount Hood at the south. To complete the courtyard on the east end, the design kept the location of the existing metal shed and repurposed this space into the new bottling facility.
Visitors enter the courtyard between the old shed and the new structure at the same location as the previous entry, maintaining a familiar connection with the past. The walls of the barrel storage spaces that flank the courtyard are kept solid, drawing visitors into the tasting room. Large glass bi-fold doors between the tasting room and courtyard create a direct relationship between interior and exterior. Key views and circulation routes are set up east/west through the building giving visitors glimpses of the vineyards beyond. Skylights are located above the tasting room bar dropping light on the main hub of activity. The large masonry built fireplace marks the center of the living room and offers an inviting space for gathering year round.
A tight budget and the need for significant square footage called for a clear concept with repetitive structural modules that surround the courtyard. A simple yet refined material palette with straightforward detailing allows the building to sit comfortably in the natural landscape. The owner requirements and constraints helped the project remain simple and focused on the key moments that would create the most impact.
Graham Baba Architects
The first half of the 20th century was a time of growth and dignity for downtown Yakima. Presidents Roosevelt and Taft visited the emerging agricultural center where a streetcar ran down the brick covered main streets amid fountains and statues. Several grand theaters were among the stately, multi-story brick and masonry buildings that occupied Yakima’s downtown. The latter part of the century saw the demolition of many, if not most, of these structures to make way for parking lots and an urban mall. Business fled to the fringes of town to avoid taxation and the mall was abandoned. The urban core has suffered more than in most other eastern Washington cities and has had difficulty retrieving activity, commerce and the attendant revenue and safety that is needed to bring vitality back to the community.
Members of the family that provided bread products to Central Washington for generations wanted to open a restaurant that would be a catalyst for the revitalization of downtown Yakima. They meant to create a place that would offer local relevance of place as well as food. They chose a site in the very core of town that has the potential to be that perfect spark for good things to come. In fact, a municipal parking lot adjacent to the project is currently under redesign as a major central plaza commissioned by the city to be the centerpiece of the revitalization effort.
The owners set out to make a place based restaurant, highlighting local food and drink from around the Yakima Valley. The goal was to source only local ingredients and prepare them in full view of all to exhibit the craft of cooking. From the honest use of materials to the celebration of details reformulated from local relics, the design team strived to meet that same goal of creating a place that celebrates craft and fits the agricultural vernacular and history of the valley. The architecture and food both aim to reset expectations for design and cuisine in a downtown area that is on the verge of an economic and cultural revitalization.
The Life Sciences Building (LSB) embraces three core concepts: Science is a Gateway + Connections + Engagement. These core concepts enhanced the building’s relation to the campus, students, faculty, and environment.
The new $124M building on the UW Seattle campus will become the nucleus of the Department of Biology which occupies multiple buildings. The public ground level includes a café, lounge, active learning classroom, student collaboration rooms, teaching labs, and a roof deck. The lower levels include state-of-the-art greenhouses that display their plant research adjacent to the building’s entrance and gateway to Main Campus. The upper levels have research labs, offices, and a public zone of breakrooms and conference rooms adjacent to the suspended communicating stair.
The facility has a unique civic opportunity to connect with the campus and community by engaging with the Burke-Gilman Trail, a popular biking and walking path for students and the public drawing thousands of regional users daily through the campus. In addition to displaying the greenhouse research along the trail, a civic plaza is located where the trail intersects with the pedestrian bridge connecting to South Campus—a unique “watering hole” of educational and social activity along this regional thoroughfare of bike commuters.
LSB’s modern research and teaching space will equip the Department of Biology to advance faculty and student recruitment and retain a world-class reputation for innovative research which is the engine of scientific discovery. The next generation of scientists graduating from UW will be immersed in leading-edge research methods and working side-by-side with renowned faculty in an open, collaborative environment.
LSB exemplifies UW’s commitment to sustainable design and is targeting LEED® Gold certification. The sustainable design innovations include exterior sunshades with building integrated photovoltaic glass fins that both shade the southwest facing offices and generate energy. The water capture strategy stores the reject water from the lab’s reverse osmosis system and re-uses it for watering the plants in the greenhouse. Additional sustainable strategies include operable windows for natural ventilation, chilled beams, radiant floors, and chilled sails—merging natural systems with new technologies.
Craig M. Hammond
Desert Retreat is a 1,507sf Condominium Home, originally designed by architect Barry A. Berkus, AIA, 1959-1961, in Palm Springs, CA. The home was purchased with the intention to restore the interior and showcase the original distinctive architectural elements which once gave this home it’s timeless mid-century modern identity.
Existing conditions presented extreme deferred maintenance, major alterations, and removal of many original features which once gave this home its mid-century modern identity. However, the unique folded-plate roofline made of prefab components, custom cast bricks, and clerestory windows remained intact in this post & beam home.
Research began by visiting neighboring homes in this community, all in different levels of repair and originality, and a photo archive was created. Additional information was gathered by removing layers to identify original colors of fixtures, beams, and bricks. Every surface was restored, fabricated, or re-created but remaining true to the original design intent to realize a Desert Retreat located within driving distance of busy Los Angeles.
A full renovation was completed focusing on restoration while marrying the indoor/outdoor relationships of desert living with a Zen-like garden of local stone and native plants. The unifying priority was preserving existing materials, utilizing salvaged materials, and using sustainable materials when use of new products was required.
Since completing this transformation, information has been shared with neighboring homeowners who have expressed a new found interest in restoring their mid-century modern desert home.
Dimension provides generous design gestures that anchor a collection of high-impact residential towers the central Belltown neighborhood and strengthen pedestrian connections to Seattle Center, Tillicum Place, and Downtown Seattle.
The design of the mixed-use, multi-family project is based on modernist principles. The building aesthetics are based on its purpose, its location, and accommodation of its intended users. The technology of the building is founded on economy of materials and logic. Dimension is a beautiful composition of necessities. It responds to the rules of zoning, the opportunity of the site, and the interests of urban-minded renters. Its design reflects urban life in Seattle - cool but not burdened by current day trends.
At 240-feet tall, the building mass is large, yet it does not overwhelm its context. The tower’s accentuated verticality against the modulated massing at the base creates scale which relates to the neighborhood. The most dramatic architectural gesture of the building is the angled west façade. This improves the massing relationship to the neighboring buildings and increases views to Elliott Bay. The angled façade extends from the base of the building to the full height and creates a slender profile enhanced by the use of colorful bay windows that organize the building setbacks, add visual interest, and produce valuable floor space within the apartments.
Immediately above the street level is a series of terraces sheathed in a dark brick facing that is a direct visual gesture to small-scale brick apartments in the neighborhood. A series of setbacks produce scale and visual interest much like the buildings in other dense, urban cities; terraces for common and private use at the setback levels have an urban trellis form that also enhance the visual interest in the transition. The rooftop plaza is open on all sides to stunning views to the Sound, Space Needle, and surrounding urban village.
The 37-story Doppler tower is the first building completed for Amazon's new headquarters, and represents the first-ever building completed that was designed specifically for Amazon. Doppler is the starting point of what is conceived as a new urban campus that sees itself more as a neighborhood.
With room for more than 3,800 office employees, Doppler contains a multi-story Center of Energy as well as ground-level, publicly-accessible retail and restaurants. To empower Amazon’s group-centric work styles, the design seeks to capitalize on the best qualities and character of a dynamic urban neighborhood.
The look and feel of the Doppler interior space conveys the culture of Amazon: modern but friendly, industrious yet humane. Environmental graphics and artwork speak to a love for tech, art, and Seattle’s urban environment.
The Doppler lobby features dynamic sound and art installations, and is surrounded by a variety of ground level retail. Reception and security turnstiles are located on the second floors of each building, resulting in the ground level being dedicated to public use.
Along with alternative work and social spaces, the building houses a retail marketplace, several cafes, a tech support bar, multiple game rooms and a creative production or maker space, as well as more than a dozen generously-sized conference spaces with robust A/V capabilities. Across a mid-block plaza is a large multi purpose auditorium with bleacher seating that can be retracted to become training, entertainment, banquet or recreational space.
On the exterior, vertical aluminum fins with five colors from a green to yellow spectrum, give the tower depth and visual relief while providing shading and meeting energy performance needs.The locations of fins are staggered in elevation to enhance visual interest and create dynamic readings of the building when viewed at varying distances. From different angles the combination of relief, color and pattern variation create diverse building appearances. While their placement may initially seem random, a further view reveals the order inherent in their placement.
Unexpected amenities are scattered throughout the height of the building, specially conceived for moments of enjoyment: elevator interiors encourage doodling; landscaped outdoor decks include barbecue grills; and a dog park on Doppler’s 17th floor, equipped with light fixtures disguised as fire hydrants, promotes canine and human social time amidst the surrounding Seattle skyline.
The Estates Wine Room provides a wine tasting experience reflecting the exceptional vineyards of the renowned growing regions of the Pacific Northwest, in the heart of Seattle. Located in the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood, the existing space’s history is celebrated through exposed brick walls and heavy timber structure. The design team was challenged to bring the experience of a vineyard tasting to the center of the city.
A series of organizing fins are inserted into the century-old warehouse space, creating a striking visual contrast between old and new, public and private. These white-oak clad fins progress through the space at an angle, screening the main patron spaces from the utility and service spaces. In addition to this functional screening, the progression uses images and perspective to create a greater perception of depth for the space.
In order to uniquely represent the vineyards, high resolution photographs were taken at the actual vineyards and two of the most iconic images were selected. The images were then processed, cut into vertical strips, and applied to the fins. The imagery is arranged to create the illusion of a single image across the entire space, one image legible from the front and the other from the rear. The staggered progression of fins and imagery create a striking visual and spatial effect. As a final subtle detail, a mirrored edge was applied to each fin, reflecting the patron, the warmth of the historic space and even the neighborhood and city beyond.
Through immersion in a rich experience, the patron simultaneously experiences the city, the neighborhood, the vineyard, and finally the wine itself.
Our client’s goal was to create a small, high-performance, healthy home for herself and her teenage son while providing a place for her father to age in place with dignity. An attached private accessory dwelling provides a space for him as well as flexibility in the future. Two volumes project beyond the simple box of the structure to satisfy program needs and add elements of human scale to the project. The primary dwelling’s entry is highlighted by the position of an upstairs bedroom. The shared backyard is activated by a deck and patio framed by the accessory bedroom projection. At the interior a bench in the dining room starts a procession of interactive elements, morphing into a stack of open wood shelves that climb to the ceiling then turn horizontally above the kitchen island and form a wooden soffit that wraps a large beam and softly defines the boundary between kitchen and dining/living. Together these elements balance the open living space and delineate smaller more intimate spaces.
The new home was designed to minimize its footprint on site, made smaller than the original 1930’s house, which was deconstructed by the REStore. Embracing adaptability and efficiency, the residence includes two dwellings: a one-bedroom 795 square-foot accessory dwelling at the lower grade and a two-story 1330 square-foot primary dwelling located above. Involved in all aspects of project execution, our client oversaw the process by
living in a used trailer parked in the backyard throughout the project’s construction. Her values inspired our process, resulting in a reduced design fee in response to the project constraints and economic climate.
Family-Share focused on maximizing the footprint’s performance, access to natural light and the health of the occupants. Sustainable features include high-performance glazing, solar preheat for domestic and hot water in-floor heating and reclaimed fir car decking rainscreen siding. The interior includes locally sourced 100% recycled paperstone and ecotop for stair treads and kitchen and bath countertops. Both dwellings feature custom formaldehyde-free sapele and maple appleply cabinets. The main floor bathroom, clad in the same reclaimed siding, contrasts with the open pantry wrapped in translucent acrylic. All sealants and glues contain no VOCs.
Family Share provides innovative density in Seattle’s single-family zone. A level of equity is reached in the project’s execution of the accessory dwelling unit which was constructed to the same level of detail as the primary dwelling.
Showcasing the environmental benefits of building re-use, the remodel of Fire Station 18 retains the primary structure of an existing building: a series of parallel masonry bearing walls supporting wood-framed floors and roof. Building corner additions and canopies over apparatus bay doors were designed as insertions “slid” into the primary structure, finding form in the opportunities presented by circumstances.
Fire Station 18, in Ballard serves as a battalion station for emergency response and coordination within the Seattle’s northwest neighborhoods. Built in 1974 to replace its predecessor, the building no longer met current fire department requirements, confining firefighters and medics to inadequate work areas and small training spaces.
The renovation design included structural and building systems upgrades, accessibility improvements and remodel of interior spaces to increase the facility’s safety, utility and comfort within a compact site.
An addition at the southwest of the building houses a new training room and gear storage. Additional expansion at the northeast allows for an elevator (universal access); southeast expansion gives fitness and training rooms more space to operate and brings daylight to spaces previously dark and underutilized.
Understanding the embodied energy value of existing buildings, the team embraced existing site constraints, systems and assemblies. An integrated design team including owner and firefighters yielded two sustainable strategies:
1. Re-use: Optimize the embodied energy by retaining as much of the existing building as possible.
2. Reduce: Use less new energy with high-efficiency building systems and minimizing energy loss through the envelope.
In total, over 95% of the primary structure of the existing building was reused. Energy demand reductions include increased roof insulation and replacement of poorly performing glazing. A new high-efficiency air source heat pump replaced the gas-fired boiler. A heat recovery system, LED fixtures, and sensor controlled zones are a few of the methods used to reduce energy consumption.
Re-use and reduction stategies resulted in a renovated Fire Station 18 designed to operate at an Energy Use Intensity of 51 kBtu/sf/year—40% below the average of Seattle neighborhood fire stations. The project is on track to obtain LEED Gold Certification and will be the first renovation by the City of Seattle to achieve this certification.
Recognizing the fire station as a vital civic building, the project enhances NW Market Street with an improved public entry and increased visibility into the apparatus bays.
Fire Station 6 is a neighborhood station located at the intersection of two significant arterial streets in Seattle’s Central District neighborhood. Re-located from a beloved, but out-of-date, historic building three blocks to the west, the new station design provides up-to-date facilities, improves firefighter response time, and creates safer vehicle circulation while establishing a strong civic presence at a busy - and until now overlooked - intersection.
The apparatus bay and its support spaces are the driver of the site strategy. The highly transparent double height volume of the apparatus bay is placed near the public corner of the site. This meets the transparency requirements of the NC2-40 zoning, puts the fire trucks on display and advertises its presence to the surrounding community. The corner location of the apparatus bay better accommodates the many dimensional constraints governing the building’s operation, improves sightlines to the intersection during calls, and allows drive-through access - thus eliminating the safety concerns of a back-in station.
Two masonry-clad volumes at either side of the apparatus bay house support and living spaces. A central, sky-lit scissor stair organizes the two-story living spaces, providing efficient access to the apparatus bay from sleeping quarters and connecting the Station Office and Beanery (kitchen/dining area)—an important social component for the firefighters—while also separating active spaces from quieter areas. The Station Office’s location at street level adjacent to the apparatus bay offers visibility in multiple directions and creates a readily identifiable front door for the office, which is staffed 24/7.
A small plaza at the northeast corner of the site affords space for pedestrians to safely observe the inner workings of the apparatus bay, which has proved to be especially popular for the local preschool population. The stained glass art above the apparatus bay doors by Seattle artist Steve Gardner references Art-Deco symbols from the original station.
Sustainability strategies include a ground source heat pump system, a substantial vegetated roof, stormwater reclamation system for irrigation, permeable paving, and energy efficient HVAC and envelope detailing. The high performance facility incorporates multiple forms of advanced communications technologies and has redundant mechanical and electrical systems components to achieve essential facility standards. Fire Station 6 is a LEED Gold building.
First Hill Medical Pavilion provided a unique opportunity to reshape a development that had not been significantly altered for more than 32 years.
The project consisted of multiple exercises; the demolition of the existing Eklind Hall (54,350 sf) and Annex (45,900 sf) buildings, conversion of an existing space, and additional construction of a 63,881 sf six-story medical office building over a new below-grade, 411-stall parking garage.
Four of the seven stories of the previously existing research laboratory were converted from biotech to shelled medical office building space. In addition, the building features a new entry drop off courtyard and enlarged windows in the original building.
The history of this site is both fascinating and challenging. Modern day development here began with the construction of Eklind Hall in 1945. An addition in 1961 augmented the building and provided a space which served as a nursing school and residence. In 1975, the seven-story, Brutalist-style concrete laboratory was built along the north portion of the site.
Many developers and property owners had contemplated the redesign of this site, but none had successfully attempted an adaptive reuse and modification of it.
Along with our primary goal of providing high quality architecture and urban design, the client’s charge to us was to fundamentally alter the perception of the site. We arrived at a cohesive, contemporary design which provides a sleeker, lighter, and more transparent mass as a counterpoint the surrounding urban neighborhood.
The resulting new building volume contrasts in form, material, transparency, and delicacy with the rejuvenated 1975 structure. Together with a comprehensive interior renovation, the exterior underwent a modest enhancement; however, the stout, rectilinear and rugged nature of this edifice remains. We distinctly intended to play off this character with the new building.
The design team sought to develop a project that not only reinvigorated the site and remaining structure, but that would positively effect and change this urban block for the next 50 years. The result has been a revitalization of a formerly sterile and institutional block, activated by an influx of local residents, workers, and patients enjoying the new public space in a variety of ways.
This narrow site is located on the east side of Mercer Island along a slanting shoreline. The site has a moderate slope with views out to Mt. Rainier at a 45 degree angle to the property lines. Our response is a stepped structure that follows the shoreline while opening up the home to the lake. A stepped terrace heals the 8 foot grade difference between the main floor and the natural grade at the shore. The terrace steps create an opportunity for a sculptural series of board-form concrete planters and water feature. The water feature source is at the entry and wells up from a custom designed black basalt fountain, flowing towards the lake before cascading down several steps, creating water sound to block the traffic noise from the distant freeway.
We practice architecture in order to evoke pleasure and emotion through the utility and ritual of daily life. Our design is about the lives of particular people as expressed in a specific place: in that way the work is authentically human-centered. That is the fulcrum around which each residential design develops, aiming to create a continually rediscovered delight in the home.
The pleasure and emotion experienced by a client is not bounded strictly by walls; it extends throughout every detail inside the home and beyond the property line to encompass scene and season. For that reason ours is an integrated practice comprising Architecture, Landscape and Interiors; only by directing all of these elements can we derive the best expression of a life on the site.
Once the site is selected the point or moment is found that evokes the strongest emotional experience. Using the overlay of a client’s daily rituals we identify several moments and extend them dynamically throughout the plan - an infinite sequence of moments. The analysis of these ‘stochastic’ patterns yields a rationale for massing functional areas of the structure, well integrated with the particulars of the site considering light, views, and climate.
The structure should have a natural and inevitable quality, a diachronic character that is an extension of human settlements and vernacular building forms. We avoid overt symmetry or rigorous pattern. Shifted massing, horizontally offset planes, and staggered spatial shoulders encourage easy movement and an itinerant gaze which is an emphatically non-reductionist approach to the lived experience of the home.
ZGF Architects LLP
Inside the resilient stainless steel exterior of Federal Center South Building 1202, lumber salvaged from a timber-framed warehouse that once stood on the site provides structure and rustic Northwest character for the regional headquarters of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in Seattle, Washington. The project is the result of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which focused on improving our nation’s infrastructure and creating jobs. The project aligned the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Design Excellence Program with the high performance building and carbon reduction goals of the Energy Independence Act to challenge and improve high-performance design standards.
One of the most aggressively sustainable office buildings of its time, high-performance features include innovative daylighting strategies, building orientation, integration of a central atrium, and the use of optimized mechanical systems—featuring chilled beams; heat recovery on ventilation air; thermal energy storage; and phase change material tank for efficient conditioning. Solutions resulting from the integrated design-build process included waste elimination with optimized handoffs between designers and contractors, optimized building systems (rainwater harvesting, thermal storage, ventilation, geothermal heating and cooling), timber reclamation, and continuous process improvement from start to finish. The project is one of the most sustainable/high performance buildings in the United States, performing in the top 1% of energy efficient buildings. It received LEED Platinum certification and exceeded the guaranteed energy and water performance requirements for the building.
In addition to the aggressive energy goals met, the building’s design also creates an optimal space for its inhabitants. The building’s U-shaped form, also known as the “oxbow”, and diagrid structure provide a flexible workplace environment for the USACE emblematic of their mission of “Building Strong” while simultaneously meeting GSA’s security requirements for progressive collapse, ensuring the building will remain standing should the structure be compromised. The narrow office bar of the oxbow design optimizes daylight penetration to reach every workstation, providing occupants with direct visual access to nature, and bridging the indoor-outdoor connection. With all workspaces taking shape around the central commons/ atrium, the design fosters community and creates a collective identity for all departments and the 530 employees who occupy the building. Echoing the original oxbows of the adjacent Duwamish Waterway, the building’s form forces the de-siloing of departments into an integrated community.
The Miller Hull Partnership
Located in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, Gohar Khatoon Girls’ School replaces an older structure that was in an extreme state of disrepair and expands the capacity of a historically significant urban school. The 43,000sf complex provides K-12 classes, serving 3,000+ students a day.
Gohar Khatoon–acting as a gateway to higher education–educates several thousand women and girls in an important urban center. Girls’ schools are already considered to be major contributors in Afghanistan’s push toward development and these institutions serve as powerful mechanisms for inclusion within Afghan society. Gohar Khatoon has been designed to support this process by promoting stability, comfort, and community engagement.
Urban oasis for youth
Cities in Afghanistan are experiencing the disappearance of outdoor green space due to urbanization. This school responds to this deficiency by offering children access to fresh air, sun, and plants. School is often the only place women are permitted to socialize outside the home: outdoor activity and seating spaces provide a culturally acceptable place for physical fitness and social interaction.
Educational gardening is a longstanding tradition in Persian culture and areas on school grounds have been planted with fruit-bearing trees, vegetable & flower gardens for tending by students. Water is a precious resource and all landscaping is irrigated using biologically treated wastewater.
Comfort, sustainability, self-sufficiency
Most children attending school in Afghanistan do so in less than comfortable conditions. Schools are often connected to a limited, or unstable power supply, and operate with almost no budget, leaving insufficient funds for heating fuel. To overcome these obstacles, the Gohar Khatoon School is positioned on the site to maximize solar heat gain in the winter months and natural ventilation during the summer and shoulder seasons.
The school’s thick masonry walls provide high thermal mass for absorbing and retaining heat. A central stairwell in each classroom block forms a “sunspace” that also captures heat for warming the building in winter. Cooling is achieved with a combination of cross and stack ventilation. Large seasonal doors at the end of the sunspaces can be opened in the warmer months, and transoms, located over the central hallways, help to pull air through the building.
Capitalizing on low-tech climate responses results in a dependable institution that provides students and staff shelter and comfort for the long term. This is an important aspect to consider at a time when foreign aid to Afghanistan is dwindling and NATO troops are leaving the country.
Wittman Architecture + Landscape
Grasshopper Studio and Courtyard
The Seattle housing shortage has increased pressure on single family neighborhoods to provide more usable space on limited single family lots. Normative new housing demolishes existing small buildings to build ‘Seattle Modern Boxes’ that maximize building size within zoning setbacks. Grasshopper Studio offers an alternative prototype of courtyard urbanism by maintaining the existing small footprint of a 1940s house and adding multi functional studio along the rear yard alley. The newly carved courtyard allows both main house and studio to expand their functional space to the outer edges of the property boundary.
Courtyard urbanism allowed the residents to more than triple their usable square footage by creating a private interior courtyard open to the sky. The wide covered walkway on the north side serves as informal seating as well as being a stage for children’s performances. Inspired by ancient Chinese south facing courtyard housing, the central paved terrace is a protected private area for dining, entertaining, lounging and year-round play space. A Silk tree in the center of the courtyard provides dappled shade in summer. The illusion of a much larger property is created through ‘borrowed landscape’ from adjacent trees and sky above.
The open plan studio is programmatically indeterminate to encourage maximum flexibility. Future uses include visiting guests, short term rental space, utility/workshop space, and play space for the main house. An open pavilion has thickened edges for storage, bathroom, laundry, and future kitchen. The expansive roof extends to form a carport and outdoor workshop space. The interstitial zones between the studio and outdoors are defined by masonry walls, wood decks, and are protected from the weather by large pavilion roofs.
A boundary wall of constructed and landscape elements filter and screen the closely adjacent neighbors, creating a private urban oasis in a dense single family neighborhood. The concrete block wall retains the grade change as well as screening the alley from view while the studio is a boundary in itself, screening alley views, and allowing light through the clerestory.
Grasshopper Studio Courtyard is adaptable to a multiplicity of uses and family arrangements. A small built footprint and large private outdoor space is more flexible and maximizes the use of the entire property. As a response to urban resource scarcity, it encourages rethinking the arrangement of the single family lot and offers Seattle an alternative urbanism for the future.
The inspiration for H2O Apartments, a 45-unit mixed-use project in Lower Queen Anne, was to unlock superior occupant experience and superior building energy performance by breaking open apartment building design.
Multifamily buildings usually carry building-scale “vampire loads” that require resource-intensive active systems. The cause is circulation. By enclosing hallway, stairwells, and elevator inside the conditioned building envelope we commit our buildings to increased conditioning and lighting loads for the life of a building. And because we also typically pressurize interior corridors to prevent the mixing of interior air between units, we force conditioned air out through each of the units in a building, where it escapes the envelope through ductwork and flaws in exterior walls. This squanders valuable building energy.
At H2O our integrated design team broke out of this mold, taking the overall massing of the project and exploding it into three structures. All circulation – corridors, stairs, and elevator – flows through the center of the project, but outside of the building envelope. The immediate energy benefits of this approach are twofold: 1. No more energy is wasted on conditioning circulation areas; and 2. No pressurization is pushing conditioned air out of the building through each unit.
But the related energy benefits are no less important, and they address a primary goal of H2O: to create an enhanced experience of “inside” for residents. Because hallways have become exterior walkways, each unit has become a “through unit” with exterior walls (and windows) on at least two sides. This effectively doubles access to air and light for each unit and means lower energy use, better light, and happier occupants.
H2O’s advanced building envelope, with a generous layer of exterior insulation and carefully modeled use of high performance windows, further leverages the project’s passive design approach. The building’s progressive management of stormwater, including one of Seattle’s first rain gardens installed on a PT deck, supports the building’s energy performance, with a green roof that mitigates overheating in summer months.
H2O intertwines commitment to both people and planet. The building’s diverse mix of unity types, combined with a provision of 20% of units for households at 80% AMI, provides equitable access to the light, air, and efficiency benefits of the project.
Both great design and passive design aim to eliminate the unnecessary. By rethinking circulation in multifamily buildings, H2O Apartments demonstrates the power of this principle of simplicity in design.
First Lamp Architects
Critical to balance in life is detaching from our everyday lives and being able to find peace and serenity through relaxation and changing our environment. Many times a place can serve as the element that breaks us from the daily routine.
Through the use of a bridge the parking area is detached from the cabin while other bridge-like details in the railing and the deck attempt to make the cabin feel physically disconnected from the site and metaphorically connected to the views of the Inlet and nature around the cabin. By detaching the cabin with a bridge the users will physically experience the separation from their daily lives they left behind.
The cabin is located halfway down a steep slope to the shoreline and is tucked into the hillside protected from the persistent winds of the Case Inlet. Its seclusion from the road above slowly unwinds as you travel along the driveway through the trees.
Approaching the cabin, one descends a stairway of heavy timber treads between a stand of large fir trees. After changing direction on a landing, a set of stairs dug into the hillside wind around some greenery and offers the first un-obscured view of the cabin. Finally, one crosses the 20’ steel bridge and turns the corner of a suspended pathway that leads to the entrance.
The bridge directs you through the entry and inside. The stark asymmetry of the entrance suggests that entry to the cabin is not a significant event to be celebrated by itself, but a single page in the story of your arrival. In this way, the door is always open — a passageway through which it is only natural to go.
Once through the entry, you find the interior is a museum of white walls presenting the artwork of the forest beyond. A switchback down the narrow stair leads you to the open heart of the cabin: the main room consisting of the living, dining and kitchen areas. Two large bifold doors open the far corner of the room, where you continue unhindered to the variety of outdoor spaces beyond. The deck wraps the corner of the cabin, with a protected area on the south that opens gradually as you move eastward. The equilibrium of these surroundings, bounded by dueling fireplaces, concrete block, douglas fir and steel, is a gratifying completion of the day’s journey from the mainland.
Perhaps the greatest sustainable act that an Architect can undertake is to bring new purpose to an existing property. The adaptive reuse of Hollywood Lofts is more than a basic transformation – it exemplifies how thoughtful design can give new purpose to historic buildings.
The 24-unit building has a prominent position in the bustling Broadway commercial district with enviable proximity to Cal Anderson Park, Seattle Central Community College, and the new Capitol Hill light rail station.
Designed in 1929 for a furniture showroom, the Del-Teet Building reflects Capitol Hill’s early reputation as an art and design hub. The three-story building witnessed much community change and endured many interior remodels. When its last tenant – Hollywood Video – left in 2008, the owner wanted to convert its commercial purpose to multi-family residential use. The problem, however, was that the original building had few openings for windows and they were mostly unsuited to today’s apartment standards. Cutting more openings in the shell would lose the building’s original character. The solution was to set a new structure inside the original shell, resulting in an architectural solution which preserved all aspects of the original building expression and form.
Preserving the character of the original brick masonry walls and integrating salvaged materials were primary design considerations. Careful demolition allowed the original masonry façade to be retained and restored. The new building remains simple in form and material to create a backdrop for the original building.
Reminders of the original building are prevalent throughout the project. Salvaged floor joists are now the unit stairs. Massive heavy timber beams that once supported the main floor are now exposed beams within the corridors. The existing second floor of the building, used as the formwork for the new second level concrete floor, is now a permanent imprint of wide wood planks visible from the ground floor spaces.
Retail spaces and the residential lobby are allocated on the ground floor. Above, three levels of two-story lofts rise out of the shell of the original structure. On the lower loft floors, terraces are partially visible through original and new openings in the brick wall – these dynamic outdoor spaces create a visual connection to the pedestrian realm and showcase textures of the original building materials.
Hollywood Lofts’ blend of old and new architecture sets an example of adaptive reuse and transformation that accommodates a new era of urban life and spirit.
Rolluda Architects Inc.
Rolluda Architects (RAI) has been part of Pioneer Square’s community for over 20 years, witnessing many socio-economic transformations and changes. One of the most prevalent issues facing Seattle is the increasing homelessness caused, in part, by the lack of affordable housing and growing income inequality. The inspiration for this year’s Seattle Design Festival installation, “The House of (ex)Change”, was to create a space of awareness and compassion in the heart of Occidental Square. The installation encouraged participants to REFLECT on homelessness by reading their stories, REDISCOVER the city’s public spaces through a series of infographics, and finally, REACT on chalkboard panels with ideas, thoughts and actions.
The installation is truly a community-based effort aimed to create a vibrant space of exchange that records diverse voices and recognizes Seattle’s strong diversity. RAI engaged two non-profit organizations, Facing Homelessness and Seattle-King County Coalition on Homelessness, to guarantee successful interaction during the festival and become a resource for homeless advocates. The installation has already been featured in both social media and local news as a result of addressing this relevant issue.
The design was comprised of a series of 42 interactive panels (wood, Plexi-glass, Sintra and chalkboard) that spin freely around a triangular structure. The wood panels symbolize the HOUSE with stories and portraits of persons who are homeless, inviting participants to REFLECT on their personal stories. The Plexi-glass and Sintra panels provide a glimpse for participants to REDISCOVER the City’s public spaces through infographics and historic photography. Finally, the chalkboard panels invite all participants to REACT, and record their thoughts directly on the panels
The structure was assembled from a series of “off-the-shelf” parts (metal posts, CDX plywood and plywood underlayment). The three posts include 168 laser-cut plywood hinges that were designed in-house to hold the panels in-place. All components were pre-assembled in the office, and final assembly of the “kit of parts” was completed on-site. The 10’ x 10’ installation was cost-effective ($750 budget) and easy to assemble (1-hour). RAI provided over 200 pro-bono hours to ensure the project stayed on-schedule and within-budget.
ZO Architecture LLC
A coal-burning power plant located adjacent to the Beijing Olympics site was abandoned after it was used for only ten years. The proposed design concept intends to convert this power plant site into a new mixed use, net-zero urban village. It will include offices, retail space, restaurants, art galleries and a boutique hotel. The design strategy includes building a new multi level structure inside the existing multi-story building shell, as well as re-configuring the original building’s exterior skin to bring in more daylight. This renovation also hopes to inspire and attract people to the site, bringing stimulating change to the streetscape and the surrounding neighborhood.
Building new connections between all of the existing, separate industrial buildings is important for the design of this new urban village. The use of different forms and shapes in the canopy design including “randomly” folding planes throughout the site serves the purpose of connecting the renovated factory buildings and creating covered outdoor spaces – both at the ground level and at a variety of roof level garden spaces. This will change the image of an old industrial factory campus into a new dynamic inclusive place for people to interact. The development will enrich the urban context of the current Olympics site and provide entertainment and leisure activities.
The existing concrete building shells are reused in an environmental friendly and efficient way. Shade structures will be added on the building walls as sun screens and act as canopies to partially cover roof gardens and ground plazas. The canopy materials are glass and metal with a photovoltaic system to produce on-site electric power. Individual panels are selectively transparent to bring daylight into the covered space. Hot water and space heating will be generated through an on-site geothermal heating system. The canopy will also collect rainwater for a watering system.
New outdoor spaces should enhance personal interaction and accessibility, giving people easy access to the site from the surrounding neighborhood. This proposed urban village will produce a friendly urban park with plazas, sculptures, and a variety of supporting retail and commercial uses. There will be multiple-level roof gardens with views to the existing Olympics site and surrounding parks. This new urban village will transform a rather bleak concrete campus of buildings formerly dedicated to an old form of energy production into a new and stimulating people friendly gathering space that celebrates the new green technologies of today.
Huafa Plaza is a pedestrian-oriented, ecologically and sustainability principled project designed to optimize consumption. The design concept is “View”, the unobstructed observation of the beautiful mountain, hills, city gardens, and ocean views of Zhuhai. Circulation and space organization is inspired by the fluid landforms of the Wanshan Archipelago just off the coast. The design seeks to achieve a maximum development footprint while balancing with the natural environment. Vertical design possibilities are explored through creating multi-layer spaces. Underground parking, interior commercial street, inner and rooftop gardens weave throughout the project bridging functional zones and providing various experiential experiences.
The design aims to create multi-culture, healthy and relaxing environments for commercial workers, consumers and Zhuhai residents. A major focus is to integrate the local architectural vernacular with contemporary trends. Taking advantage of the abundant natural resources on the site, each building enjoys a great ocean view within a lively, high-end community environment.
The flowing curve is the form language used throughout the site to differentiate functional zones and guide circulation. Landscape is used to softens the hard building edges and create unique spaces for activities. Lush green roof gardens provide hotel guest and the loft tenants close-up views of nature.
Ice Cube is a temporary installation designed and built for the 2016 Seattle Design Festival, a weekend-long event bringing together architects, engineers, designers, city officials and the community at large to celebrate and explore how design improves the quality of our lives and our urban center.
Inspired by the festival’s theme, Design Change, Ice Cube showcased the stages of the natural water cycle as the ice shifted from opaque to translucent. As the 10-ton ice cube evaporated and melted over 10 days, the installation offered a cool respite to visitors and scattered ambient sunlight and colors throughout the park. The pure form of the cube gradually eroded in the summer sun, marking the passage of time as its water slowly returned to the nearby Puget Sound.
Measuring nearly seven-feet on all sides, the cube was made from 64 smaller ice blocks, each individually frozen, hand selected and rotated for best fit. In order to adjoin the blocks together into a single form, they were each milled to allow their edges to receive each other; they were then stacked and sprayed with water to fuse the seams. This particular technique ensured that the bonds between blocks would not break down in direct sunlight. The cube was lit from above by a suspended LED light, giving Ice Cube an ethereal persona at night, as it appeared to glow from within.
Throughout the design festival, the public was invited to interact freely with Ice Cube. Visitors’ excitement and intrigue was evident as adults, children and pets engaged with Ice Cube using multiple senses: taking in the sight of the imposing form, the touch and smell of the cold and wet ice, and for a few brave passersby–even the taste. The installation inspired surprising conversations not only with the design community but also with surrounding schools, the media, and atmospheric scientist and local weather celebrity Cliff Mass who invited people to guess how long Ice Cube would last.
The process for Ice Cube was a departure from the typical design process, which tends to focus on the longevity of a structure. Instead, the concept and desired result of Ice Cube was a subtractive process, catalyzed by natural elements and human engagement that slowly broke down the form. Ultimately, Ice Cube was completed by its slow degradation, becoming more sculptural over time until its eventual evaporation.
The scope of work includes a two-story classroom addition as well as significant site improvements around the campus.
The existing single-story structure is organized around a series of 3 courtyards with primary circulation corridors running east-west. The new classroom addition continues this organizational parti by extending the 2 corridors and adding a new courtyard. Constrained by a mature stand of trees in this area, the new courtyard is compressed to form a covered atrium space.
The front door to the existing school is oriented to the north. With the district’s elimination of school buses, students in large numbers are relying on public transportation with stops located south and west of the site. The new addition creates a secondary entry plaza to accommodate this shift in pedestrian circulation.
The falling topography of the site allows for a two-story addition - splitting levels with the existing single-story building. An open stair near the southwest corner of the building provides communication between all levels while creating an entry at the lower level. The stair embraces a tiered seating area as it rises from the entry level to the intermediate (existing) floor level, creating a forum-like space designed for both casual interaction and formal presentations. A two-sided elevator provides access to both classroom floors and the intermediate level.
Sustainability efforts focused on minimizing the new construction footprint, protecting and restoring habitat, storm water control, and day lighting. A significant part of the success of this effort was the accommodation of all mechanical spaces within the footprint of the building. This strategy eliminated the need for penthouses, reducing the height of the building and maximizing available area for the extensive green roof system and skylights.
The design is inspired by the opportunity to transform a derelict brownfield full block urban site into a high tech workplace campus that fits well within a low scale mixed use community at the edge of Lake Union. The character of the design is derived from the site’s industrial heritage and nearby Gasworks Park. The design evokes the post-industrial legacy of the lake edge along the former rail line of the Burke Gilman Trail.
The building is organized as two bars stepping down the hillside to create a series of south facing terraces that frame views to Lake Union and downtown. This design strategy maximizes opportunities for daylight, views, and connections among large floorplates. The lobby creates a multi-story link that is highly transparent to frame views for pedestrians who also have access to a public roof terrace.
The steep site and modest budget drove innovative planning, massing, and enclosure solutions to maximize daylight and opportunities for place making. The enclosure of the building was developed through a rigorous value engineering process and incorporates durable and low maintenance weathered steel. Operable windows and strategic placement of glazing optimize access to daylight, fresh air, and views for the occupants.
The building is design to achieve LEED silver and the construction phase included substantial water conservation and clean up through extensive means and methods to improve water quality in the near and long term.
Northedge is a high performance workplace environment integrated within a low scale mixed use neighborhood. The full block development delivers a campus like experience in a single building that optimizes flexibility, efficiency, and opportunities for connections while projecting a memorable identity. The modest scale, stepped forms, playful modulation, and natural coloration enhance and transform a site that was until recently a derelict and contaminated brownfield.
David Coleman Architecture
Inside Outside House
Located a stone’s throw from the region’s technology center, this house is nestled into a stand of mature cedar trees. Our client wanted a house that had abundant natural light and a strong connection to the land. To accomplish that, we pushed the building back away from the street, freeing up a large outdoor area, then organized the interior into two wings – living and sleeping. We then developed a series of courtyards that terrace up the site and through the building, linking inside and outside space in a sinuous whole.
Visitors approach the house from the east, entering the first of three “outside rooms”, the Auto-court. This space doubles as a sport court and is often strewn with badminton equipment, bikes, and family toys.
The Meadow-court, shaded by cedar trees and merging directly with the interior spaces, has a more pastoral setting. Planted in field grasses and containing an outdoor living area and water feature, nature is the predominant experience here.
The third outside room, the Terrace-court, is an extension of the living area. Facing west, this space is used for seasonal dining and evening campfires, the final destination of a sinuous path.
The roof over the living wing, supported by four concrete columns, appears "light" and pavilion-like, inviting daylight in and views out. Seemingly formed from a single sheet of material folded subtly in an origami-like manner, and combined with a glass curtain wall, inside and outside space become one.
The sleeping wing, with its low-slung roof and dark-colored finishes, stands in intimate contrast to the rest of the building. A children’s play loft is tucked under the living area roof ,where the living and sleeping wings intersect. A private terrace is located off the master bedroom.
Materials and details are designed to minimize visual noise and strengthen the calming quality of the site. Geothermal heat, super insulation, passive solar with thermal mass, and wide overhangs reduce heating and cooling loads.
SRG Partnership, Inc.
University of Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens asked us to create the best fan and player experience in collegiate athletics. Jane Sanders Stadium needed to incorporate UO’s celebrated brand and pay homage to the incredible generosity of the Sanders family donation. It was also important to the University that the project support their hardworking student-athletes at every level. It was clear we were not just designing a stadium; we were designing a place to promote a community of champions.
Before Jane Sanders Stadium, the team practiced in a shared facility, trained and received medical support in a different location, and played games at a third location. The project design connects these functions visually and physically. Athletes can workout throughout the day, even between classes, in a state-of-the-art practice and training facility. Integration of technology is a key component of the design; from the room for watching game films to the computers used to analyze batting techniques, the facility helps athletes reach their full potential.
With one major design move on the site – pushing the stadium back from the street and compressing its scale – the team created a new plaza and opened up space for a future academic use. The result for the stadium is a more welcoming entry sequence and a more intimate fan experience. The entry plaza also integrates the stadium with the rest of the university, connecting the site to a popular student pathway that extends through campus.
CHAMPIONS HAVE PRIDE
Bold yellows pop out from the black façade of the box office and team building. The iconic wing-shaped canopy has become synonymous with Oregon softball’s innovative brand. Key themes – stealth, feathers, the Sanders Family’s ties to the local wood industry, and the team’s industrious activities –drove the design and appear in the stadium’s forms and materials, creating unique and identifiable visual articulation of the UO softball story.
The Stadium was designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, a unique accomplishment in the world of sports facilities. The building meets UO’s aggressive energy goals, with energy reduction of 35% over Code. The building also reduces water usage by 37% with low-flow fixtures and turf with low irrigation and maintenance requirements. The stadium bowl is built from a prefab system, with components that have a high recycled content; at the end of their life they can be deconstructed and recycled again.
Janus pulls its inspiration from its context. The site faces a large retail parking lot across a bustling arterial on the north, and on the south, across a narrow alley, faces quiet well maintained single-family homes. The goal: a building that can speak the language of two contrasting neighborhood conditions.
Janus is the Roman god of transitions, whose image features two faces, symbolizing change from one condition to another.
Simple rectilinear massing speaks to the restricted budget of this rental work-force apartment in a developing neighborhood. Materials, colors, and details create two faces of Janus.
To strengthen its retail north face, Janus presents a continuous transparent retail base, with a strong horizontal form above, mirroring the scale of the Fred Meyer shopping center across the street. Smooth material surfaces, and bright accent colors with slight recesses and extrusions provide visual variety to the long building volume.
The south residential face transitions to a series of vertical bays, angled slightly so as not to look directly into the private homes. Balconies, roof overhangs, textured materials, and landscaped courtyards relate to the single family character.
The interior spaces continue the clear sense of transition. The lobby, accessed from the north, has dark, raw finishes and low ambient lighting to create an elegant cave-like experience. Rise to the 2nd floor kitchen and lounge, and the environment changes to a light colored space that embraces the bright southern sun.
Janus promotes a sustainable community by increasing the density and walkability in its context of high car dependency. Transparent retail, widened landscaped sidewalks, protective continuous overhead weather protection, and a corner seating area beneath a huge sculpture adjacent to a city bikeway create a safe and lively pedestrian environment for walking and biking. If you must use a car, electric vehicle charging stations are provided to promote oil free vehicles
Alleys, such as the Hutongs of Beijing, can be used to promote neighborhood communication and cohesion. Janus provides a human face to the alley, not a backside. An IPE wood screen of random spaced boards provides both privacy and transparency, sharing its private outdoor space visually with its neighbors and encouraging use of the alley for more than vehicles. At nearly 30’ tall, Perseus II serves as a portal marking the neighborhood transition from residential to retail – a landmark and gathering place for the entire community.
The design of the JW Marriott Puerto Los Cabos Resort seamlessly blends architecture and art with the site’s powerful desert landscape and an endless panorama of the Pacific Ocean. Though separated from the water by a 35-foot-tall dune, the resort provides visitors with an immediate connection to its natural context, beginning with a horizon-framing view from the main arrival hall.
The ocean view takes center stage from nearly every place in the resort as visitors explore intuitive pathways throughout the property. Just past the main entry, two infinity pools appear to connect with the water beyond; as guests move throughout the property, they are greeted with unexpected glimpses of the water, which is framed by native landscaping and sculpted sand dunes that stretch 750 feet across the front of the property.
The grandeur of the 299-room, 561,000 square foot resort is honed to an intimate scale starting with the entry hall where a cadence of tall columns inspired by pre-Columbian architecture draws visitors forward. In the grand gathering spaces such as the 8,000 square foot ballroom, large steel girders are wrapped in dark wood, and soffits are incorporated throughout which lend warmth and a human scale to large spaces.
Smooth concrete and stucco buildings throughout the complex were designed to appear as if they are native to the site; the color palette was derived from the sand of the nearby desert. Open travertine-covered hallways and floors mix with local soil aggregates, further blurring the physical boundaries of indoors and outdoors, site and architecture.
The thoughtfully designed guest rooms, library, bar and restaurant are dressed in rich textures and warm desert tones, resulting in a sense of comfort, elegance and earthiness. Specially crafted art pieces commissioned from Mexican artisans including Jaume Plensa, Jorge Yázpik, and Sam Falls are woven into the interior and exterior spaces of the resort, as well as individual guest rooms.
The landscape design integrates a range of striking and beautiful indigenous species including the enigmatic Cardon plant, a type of thorn scrub, and native Torote and Palo Blanco trees, which were hand-selected from local forests. Royal, Date, and Mexican Fan Palms accentuate the architecture and reinforce the site’s relationship to nature, while select exotic plants provide bold color in the sunken gardens, such as the Gardens of Paradise.
This prominent facility serves as the only high school on the remote island of Kodiak, Alaska. It’s a community resource - many families have seen multiple generations pass through the school’s doors. However, through numerous additions and renovations, the original, 1960s building lacked connectivity. Though an extensive modernization and addition, Kodiak High School has been transformed into a next generation learning environment – supporting the students and faculty through crucial connections to the surrounding community and industries.
During the early stages of schematic design, the design team incorporated over 200 voices in 43 meetings comprised of the: school district, borough, oversight team, high school students and staff, community, and citizens advisory committee. This diligent communication practice was paramount for the subsequent design to unify the dreams and ideals of the community, and ensure a sense of ownership in the new school.
The design features three types of spaces: GATHER, LINK, and LEARN. GATHER spaces function as community destinations (e.g. library, dining commons, and fitness lounge). LINK spaces tie circulation together throughout the building. LEARN spaces are used for educational delivery, and encourage transparency in learning through glazing and flexibility. Repetition of colors and materials used within these three space types provide circulation cues and support programming intent.
Contrary to design that seeks to separate functionalities, Kodiak High School is a fluid space, drawing students to all portions of the building to congregate, integrate curriculum, and showcase forward thinking educational models now in practice. By stacking the school’s tower addition into one, 4-story structure (one of the only tall buildings on the island), the design minimizes impact on the tight site, ties in renovated space for vocational and technical programs, and maximizes community connections. Following graduation, many students remain on the island to enter leading industries of commercial fishing, healthcare, aerospace, and the US Navy and US Coast Guard. Renovations tie the existing building to the themes and circulation of the new tower.
The scope of the project comprises a 4-story, 85,000 SF addition, and 104,000 SF of building renovations, enabled to serve up to 900 students. In addition to traditional learning spaces, the school supports vocational education (including advanced classes through a partnership with a local college) to fulfill their motto, “Engaged in Learning. Prepared for Life.”
Patano Studio Archtitecture
Lake Sammamish State Park’s new Bathhouse at Sunset Beach is organized around the fundamental principal of integrating the building with the landscape and the landscape with the building, blurring the distinctions between the two traditional disciplines. The architect’s competition winning Master Plan unifies the 512 acre park with a consistent and understandable language involving built and landscaped elements. The Bathhouse is a key element of the overall Master Plan for the park, it reinforces an edge along the shoreline of Lake Sammamish and animates a previously underutilized portion of the park.
Built as a segment of a 500’ radius the Lake Sammamish State Park Bathhouse utilizes a concrete moment frame to enclose the building program: Food Concessions, Restrooms, Changing Areas, Flex Space, Life Guard Office and a Covered Outdoor Seating area are housed under the planted/photovoltaic roof assemblies. The concrete structure consists of recycled content and provides a durable structural system that supports the intensive green roof assembly and provides thermal mass for the interior spaces. The green roof is planted with local, droughtresistant plants that mitigate the stormwater runoff and reduce the heat island effect within the sensitive footprint of the park. Building integrated photovoltaic arrays allow dappled sunlight to enter the Flex Space and the Covered Outdoor Seating area while generating more electricity than the building uses during the summer months. The open joint rainscreen cladding system is reclaimed red wood salvaged from a dismantled 100 year old dam. The red wood remains unfinished and will weather and fade over time. The plantings in the rain garden are native and restorative in nature as part of Lake Sammamish State Park’s goal to feature as Washington’s signature park for protecting and celebrating urban natural areas, showcasing regionally significant wetlands and wildlife habitat, while enriching the lives of visitors and providing a valued legacy to future generations.
The owners, a young family with two children, had recently moved into a midcentury home in the Laurelhurst neighborhood of Seattle. Designed by Ibsen Nelsen in 1961, the layout of the home was immediately appealing but the character and flow between spaces wasn’t a good fit for the patterns of their daily life. The design task was to renovate the home while respecting its soul and extending its lifespan.
High on the owner’s wish list were increased physical and visual connections between rooms and with the outdoors. A central feature of the original design was a courtyard garden, experienced primarily through the living room. Careful reconsideration of the openings surrounding this intimate space reframed it as a tranquil organizing element of the house, central not just to the living room but also to the entry, the daily circulation and the more informal spaces of the home.
An inviting kitchen with strong connections to other interior and exterior spaces for entertaining and play was vital to the new owners. The original kitchen was walled off from the dining area, isolated from other living spaces and had limited access to the yard and view. Limited structural changes united these spaces and sliding glass
doors expand the family’s activities onto the new deck and patio, framing views of the waterway, Husky stadium, and the Olympic Mountains beyond. Detailing the casework like freestanding blocks rather than walls allows the spaces to flow into each other more freely.
While the owners preferred to keep the character of the major hipped roof form, they also wished for improved vertical proportions and increased visibility out of upper level windows. Simplification of minor roof forms around the periphery allowed bedroom window sills to be lowered so children could enjoy the views. Single pane windows throughout were replaced by modern glazing systems and extended floor to ceiling where needed for a sense of height. Upgraded insulation and a new high efficiency radiant floor heat system allowed the removal of ductwork and low ceilings, while dramatically reducing the home’s energy consumption. The main roof has since been outfitted with a large solar array.
While staying true to its original bones, this midcentury renovation is ready for another century of life.
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Designed as a home and studio for a photographer and his young family, Lightbox is located on a peninsula that extends south from British Columbia across the border to Point Roberts. The densely forested site lies beside a 180-acre park that overlooks the Strait of Georgia, the San Juan Islands and the Puget Sound.
Having experienced the world from under a black focusing cloth and large format camera lens, the photographer has a special fondness for simplicity and an appreciation of unique, genuine and well-crafted details.
The home was made decidedly modest, in size and means, with a building skin utilizing simple materials in a straightforward yet innovative configuration. The result is a structure crafted from affordable and common materials such as exposed wood two-bys that form the structural frame and directly support a prefabricated aluminum window system of standard glazing units uniformly sized to reduce the complexity and overall cost. The pared-down flexible system used for Lightbox is one that could be applied to 5,000 square feet just as well as 200. At 1,650 square feet, Lightbox was constructed for $210 per square foot.
The single home was fit into one small 80’ x 100’ lot, allowing the Owner to enjoy his remaining properties as native environments and provide a wide and dense natural buffer from any potential neighboring development.
Accessed from the west on a sloped boardwalk that bisects its two contrasting forms, the house sits lightly on the land above the forest floor. A south facing two-story glassy cage for living captures the sun and view as it celebrates the interplay of light and shadow in the forest. To the north, stairs are contained in a thin wooden box stained black with a traditional Finnish pine tar coating. Narrow apertures in the otherwise solid dark wooden wall sharply focus the vibrant cropped views of the old growth fir trees at the edge of the deep forest.
Lightbox is an uncomplicated yet powerful gesture that enables one to view the subtlety and beauty of the site while providing comfort and pleasure in the constantly changing light of the forest.
Heliotrope Architects PLLC
Located on a rocky, wind-swept south facing shoreline; this retreat home nestles into the landscape in order to harmonize with it’s surroundings and minimize exposure to weather.
The program consists of a vacation retreat for a family of four – who desired a low-impact home with a strong connection to land and sea. The design solution situates living spaces at the center of the home and opens them up completely on the north (garden) and south (water) sides via large custom lift-slide door systems. Due to the extreme weather exposure of the site, these openings have been fitted with rolling wall panels to protect them from punishing winter storms, as well as to provide security when unoccupied. The finish palette consists of local materials including douglas fir (floors, trim), western red cedar (siding, wall and ceiling cladding) and pacific madrone (furniture).
The site is within the San Juan Islands National Monument, with extremely sensitive shorelines and marine environment. A clear understanding of near-shore ecology greatly impacted the design of the home. In order to avoid habitat loss for near-shore insects, a critical food source for endangered juvenile Chinook salmon, a garden roof seeded with native, drought tolerant vegetation has been utilized. This assembly replaces over 90% of the vegetative footprint lost to construction. With shallow soils, disruption to natural storm-water flow is also a critical issue. Poorly filtered runoff from roofs and other hard surfaces are a major water quality issue in the Islands. Our drainage design captures runoff along the up-slope footing and disperses it in an un-concentrated 1/1 ratio just downslope of the structure, replicating as closely as possible the pre-construction runoff condition. Lastly, we worked to satisfy the program requirements as efficiently as possible in order to minimize structure footprint and massing. The result is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home that feels much larger than its modest 1,600sf size would suggest.
SHED Architecture & Design
The Madrona Passive House was undertaken to set an example for energy efficient single family residences and to play a part in making climate-friendly building practices mainstream. Although the clients, local climate advocacy leaders, prioritized then reduction of building energy consumption, the house also needed to function well for their family, enhance their experience of the site, and be comfortable to live in year round. Designing and certifying the project under thePHIUS+2015 Standard was an ambitious but practical path toward a building modern, forward looking home with the lowest possible EUI.
The house sits at the end of a cul-de-sac on an east facing steep slope lot overlooking Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains. The footprint of a 1940s-era house deconstructed for the project determined the location and plan of the building within the steep slope. Conceived as a block set within an inherited footprint, the simple mass was carved and pulled in response to site and program opportunities.
Approached from the west, super-insulated walls of stained FSC cedar protect the private interior of the home while framing an entry court open to the neighborhood. A living wall fence creates a permeable green boundary between public and private realms, encouraging social interaction with passersby on a well-traveled route to the lake. Grey triple-paned windows with galvanized flashings puncture the black-stained cedar skin of the mass to create solar responsive openings modulated with exterior blinds.
Inside, the home consists of three levels connected by a central stair and service core that reinforce a connection to the landscape as one circulates through the building. The placement of the stair core allows the primary rooms to open to territorial views east, while private and utility spaces have discrete views framed to the north and west. To respond to an approaching empty nest the lower level can be transformed into an ADU. FSC-certified walnut and ground concrete complement the natural hues of the greenbelt and water visible through the floor-to-ceiling windows and doors.
Madrona Passive House exceeded all Passive House metrics in the energy model and was recently certified by PHIUS. The project has pending certifications for an ILFI energy petal and DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program. With a modeled and projected EUI of 8.9 kBTU/sf-yr and solar production offsetting car charging, the project is on track to fulfill its prime objective of creating a beautiful Net Zero home.
This home in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood was designed for an active couple looking for a strong connection to the outdoors, access to daylight, and a clear open plan. Their goal was to have a modest house within walking distance of neighborhood amenities that creatively solves the puzzle of openness and privacy on an urban lot.
Beginning at the street, board formed concrete volumes of varying heights are sited to form a sequence of exterior and interior rooms which intertwine with the landscape. A wooden boardwalk slips over and through this series of spatial experiences to lead to the front door. Alongside it, a sunken landscape court slides into the house blurring any hard boundaries with the exterior world. The primary living space opens broadly back onto the southwest facing court where wood framed glass doors allow the owners to live outside easily when the unpredictable Seattle weather allows. Floating above this expansive plane of gardens, living spaces and decks is a simple but bold black volume which creates cover below while encapsulating the private spaces of the home above. Artfully sliced Richlite panels are used to create an economical skin that still lends an intriguing presence and unique texture to the street. A pivotal central stair of steel and charred fir bridges the upper and lower, inside and outside. The palette is simple and purposeful, infusing modern simplicity with warmth, craft, and detail.
Large windows maximize daylight and passive ventilation, creating a seamless connection to the landscape. Living spaces are drawn out beyond the home’s footprint and the garden drawn in, increasing integration into landscape and community while decreasing the need for conditioned space. Heating is achieved via a high efficiency natural gas boiler with hydronic radiant heat throughout the well-insulated home. High efficiency light fixtures, plumbing fixtures and appliances conserve energy and resources.
Although untrained in construction, the owner was able to participate and help offset costs by contributing his own physical labor to the job. In the end he assisted the general contractor with a wide variety of tasks including foundation waterproofing, installing rebar, pulling electrical wiring and installing lighting, torching the wood stair treads, and installing windows. His relentless energy and support of the design vision made a challenging goal a reality.
Smaller Smarter Seattle
Today, Seattle is the 18th most populous city in the United States and its original neighborhood, Pioneer Square has enormous potential to become a more socially-vibrant, lively urban core. Pioneer Square is home to stark contrasts. Art galleries, boutique restaurants, high-end housing and blossoming tech startups within historic buildings are contrasted by homelessness, development limitations, a hub of mental health facilities and lack of urban-enhancing amenities. Many empty or under-utilized properties await the development of future change, and the Map the Square team sought to influence this design change by inviting the public voice.
Map the Square is a physical art installation and digital interactive urban mapping project that elevates public conversation around design and the built environment in Pioneer Square.
The week-long physical installation coincided with the Seattle Design Festival’s block party in Occidental Square, the heart of the neighborhood. In response to the festival’s theme, “Design Change,” the Map the Square team asked:
- How can we help the public and local stakeholders articulate the problems in the urban built environment in this neighborhood?
- Is it possible for our installation to allow the public to voice their solutions to those problems?
- How can we strengthen the voice of the inhabitants, businesses, tourists, and caretakers of Pioneer Square in the discussion and development of their neighborhood?
- What design elements will transform Pioneer Square into a more vibrant, socially sustainable urban environment?
In partnership with the local business improvement association and local businesses, eight Map the Square kiosks were displayed in front of neighborhood storefronts. The playful and approachable kiosks empowered the public to stop, look and interact with the colored tag elements and the neighborhood, asking the public to show us where they felt a change could take place.
Participation was encouraged in the built environment and through social media using #mapthesquare, introducing a digital and networked conversation around the exercise. The design team recorded tag locations and written input, and tracked the feedback on an online map, now a permanent record for the public, business owners, and city officials to use as a guideline for future development.
The project’s home base, in a local gallery, showcased the project and provided a space to gather and discuss the neighborhood’s future.
This investigation crafts a template for the public to have a voice spatially that can be heard and taken into action in many other urban spaces.
Neiman Taber Architects
Seattle is currently the fastest growing city in the nation. Originally developed as a city of single family homes, Seattle has more or less run out of single-family zoned land. In order to continue to absorb growth, the city has to build its new housing in a more urbanized form. Currently the city is grappling with a problem: How to increase density without sacrificing neighborhood character and livability?
While older cities have successful dense housing archetypes like row housing, these forms were developed without the need for parking, and cannot accommodate parking without losing their street character, or their open space, or both. In 2011, Seattle enacted more flexible low-rise zoning code to encourage production of a broader diversity of dense infill housing types and to enable more thoughtful design solutions. In short, the hope was that someone would figure out a new, better archetype.
Marion Green pioneers an entirely new approach to low-rise multi-family housing in Seattle: The Courtyard Townhome. This new housing type creates a community center for all the residents to share, mitigates the visual impact of parking, facilitates interaction between neighbors, and increases access to open space and natural light. Some notable features:
• The courtyard serves as the primary pedestrian circulation route, promoting chance encounters among neighbors. Semi-private deck spaces for each unit ring the periphery, and the center of the courtyard provides communal space.
• Public, semi-private, and private amenity areas are layered and nested - e.g., zones within the courtyard, balconies, individual unit roof decks, and small decks for the rear units—allowing residents to find a balance between privacy and community.
• Outdoor and indoor living space fl ow together. Living rooms and kitchens open onto and look into the courtyard.
• The courtyard breaks up the project massing and brings natural light into the center of the project.
• Parking is situated under the courtyard deck. The buildings are pushed out to the edge of the site. The negative visual impacts of parking are mitigated, and the site area normally taken up by parking is returned to open space.
• The parking is simply constructed, above-grade with conventional wood framing. It is an affordable solution for conventional development budgets.
Marion Green is a model for how urban neighborhoods can grow successfully, satisfying pragmatic concerns like parking and project economics, while providing an architectural solution that is people-centered and humane.
Tucked into a hillside in Kelowna, British Columbia, the design of the newest winery in the von Mandl Family Estates creates an intimate relationship between the topography of the land and a new gravity-flow winery. The design of the production facility follows the direction of the land, utilizing the downhill slope for its gravity-flow process while the visitor experience cantilevers out over the vineyards, offering views to the surrounding landscape.
The functional areas of the winery step down the hillside, from the grape-receiving area at the top through fermentation into the settling room, bottling room and ending at a below-ground barrel storage area. Office and visitor spaces are woven into the manufacturing portion of the structure, including a tasting room, dining room, and visitor walkways that offer intimate views of the production process. The barrel storage is set back into the hillside to take advantage of stable earth temperatures, minimize HVAC use and maintain a constant, ideal temperature and humidity without the need for conventional heating or cooling systems.
The facility’s exterior is cladded with obsidian-painted structural steel and rusted corrugated steel for siding and roof overhangs. Siding panels are tilted downhill to visually underscore the story of the gravity-flow process.
Guided tours bring visitors into the facility through a rough board-formed concrete tunnel and then to an exclusive tasting room accented by a glass and perforated steel wall that overlooks the barrel storage area. A signature spiral stair case leads up to larger tasting room and visitor experience area with perforated steel on the outside and solid steel inside. The form of the staircase was inspired by the stainless steel filtering equipment as well as the Fibonacci rationale that structures how grape vines propagate.
The split roof design with strategically located clerestory windows provide ample natural light throughout the space. The operable windows draw in breezes from the lake, which funnel through the building, providing natural ventilation. The windows also provide a visual connection to the land and nature with views to the lake and surrounding vineyards.
Graphite Design Group
Sited at the convergence of the Denny Triangle and South Lake Union neighborhoods, McKenzie will be a 41 story residential building on the corner of 8th Avenue and Blanchard Street. In response to this pivotal site, the elliptical form of the tower elegantly resolves the intersection of both neighborhoods’ rotated street grids, serving as a nexus for the confluence of surrounding urban patterns and densities. The building shape affords uniform views for residents and maximizes solar access while responding to the curved forms of its neighboring properties. Viewed in concert with the changing skyline, McKenzie presents a front face to every exposure, standing proudly against the more eclectic urban collage behind.
The design of this media headquarters reflects the company’s core values of egalitarianism, transparency and provocative journalism while supporting their dynamic daily operation with both individual work studios as well as collaborative social spaces.
Housed within an historic 120-year-old Union Square Building, the two-story 43,000 square foot space is located in what was once New York’s epicenter of fashion retail, the so-called “Ladies’ Mile.” A physical extension of client’s desire for transparency, the design of the space reveals the building’s original steel structure and brick walls, preserving its historic materiality. New architectural insertions, including interior walls and building systems as well as finishes and fixtures, integrate with original building elements, a juxtapose of past and present. A high contrast palette of soft white, day-lit “working salons” surrounded by a dark spine of blackened steel stairs, warm inktones and dark woods create a framework for flexible use and transformation of the space from day to night.
In contrast with the client’s previous open-office environment, the shared working salons are organized around large perimeter windows that draw natural daylight deep into the space. Salons are scaled to allow for small-team collaborations as well as the individualization of workspaces and environmental control by zone to encourage a quiet yet collaborative, headset-free environment.
The central stair, which also acts as a gathering space and theater, provides a strong connection between the two floors. This space, along with the adjacent reading room, conservatory and lounge, offers flexible areas for writers, designers, and sales and technology workers to meet in groups or work independently. In the evening, projection screens, large pivoting and sliding doors, and theatrical curtains transform the workplace into a hub for parties, films, lectures and cultural convening.
The Mt. Baker Base Camp and Research Facility thesis was designed as an opportunity to explore how form can be derived from a desired building performance. The mission was to discover how effectively a building’s design can utilize various analyses and programs to generate a form that functions according to predetermined criteria. The goals of this project were: to have a low environmental impact, operate off the grid, follow Passivhaus standards, and respond to the extreme environment of Mt. Baker.
Environmental impact was analyzed based on several issues: ground impact, sight lines, and waste. The building was designed to be impermanent with a light steel frame anchored into the ground and pre-fabricated CLT panels, the construction and possible deconstruction would be quick and leave minimal signs of existence. The building is located in the bowl of the Sandy campsite to protect it from strong winds allowing a less intensive structure. This keeps the building out of sight lines of oncoming hikers to not impede on the experience of nature. The basement storage area is for black/grey/fresh-water, garbage/recycling/compost, food, and pellets for the cogenerator.
To function off the grid, it would capture a majority of its energy from a PV array on the south facade, with a cogenerator providing energy in high storm/minimal daylight seasons. The wooden pellets used to power the cogenerator would need to be delivered to the site via a snowcat along with food and fresh water.
Although the elevation would not typically be considered high at 6,500 ft, Mt. Baker experiences extreme weather conditions with strong winds, 30 feet of snowpack, and avalanche danger. Wind studies were conducted to aerodynamically shape the building by using the force of the wind to push the nose of the building down into the ground. The angle and inclination of the south facade was determined as the optimum condition for the PV array over the course of the year. Additionally, in order to minimize the amount of electricity needed for lighting, daylighting studies were conducted to determine solar-thermal gain and lighting levels throughout the year using strategically placed windows. Lastly, the building’s programs were arranged so that the 1/3 of the building closed during the off season would be located on the north side of the building and thermally sealed off to act as a thick air insulation layer for the active 2/3 of the building.
Our design is inspired by the values and aspirations of today’s University of Washington students as well as the traditions and institutional memories of past generations. At the heart of the project, a new atrium unifies the building and creates a central gathering space for all visitors. Surrounded in native wood panels, with floating glass and steel stairs and exposed architectural concrete and steel structures, the atrium preserves elements of the historic collegiate gothic building while creating a modern inspirational space that puts the students at the literal center of the project.
The original building was built in 1949 and over time had five different expansions that created a number of organizational, wayfinding and identity challenges. By carefully evaluating and editing the existing building massing and introducing a central atrium, the existing project’s historic character was refined on the historic campus sides and the circulation was clearly expressed and centralized in the new atrium. The atrium is expressed on the exterior in two new iconic glass jewel box entries that signal a welcoming, open, and contemporary architectural language for the union.
During the project’s Eco-charrettes, two goals were established: to express the students’ commitment to environmental issues and have the building serve as an educational tool. As a first step, the decision was made to keep over 50% of the existing building’s physical structure to reduce the project’s carbon footprint. The atrium, at the heart of the project, opens up the building to bring in daylight and views, showcases a number of sustainable features, and acts as a central lung - providing natural ventilation for a majority of the building. The building’s exterior – both new and historic facades - were holistically designed to create a unified high performance envelope with exterior sun shading, high performance glazing, double façades at the Lyceum and glazed jewel box entries, and new rain screen envelope systems. These strategies transformed an outdated and energy intensive structure into an inspirational and high performing LEED Gold certified building.
The HUB now serves as the Campus’ center - creating a welcoming place where members of the University of Washington community, past and present, are invited to experience and explore. The new atrium serves as the University’s living room for all students – creating a revitalized place to gather, rest, celebrate, learn and remember.
Cutler Anderson Architects
WATER and LIFE
This single-family 1,440 square foot residence and 550 sf guest house was designed to reinforce the owners’ already strong emotional connection to the living world. The architect chose the site of an overgrown, man-made pond in an area of the owner’s’ farm that was not conducive to cultivation.
The design attempts to make the pond and residence a single entity in which the owners can enjoy and connect with the wild creatures that come to the water on varied schedules. To this end, the building was placed as a bridge across the north end of the pond. The pond itself was enlarged and loosely ordered to integrate with the structure of the residence.
Visitors park their vehicles 150 feet away. In an attempt to visually “compress” the visitors, they are led on a path through a dense overhanging forest to a bridge crossing a small section of the pond, then on to the main entry. The visitor is then visually “released” to the broad vista of the pond when the front door is opened. It was the hope that this experience would be emotionally memorable to the owners and visitors.
The residence itself was designed as a simple steel frame carrying a wood roof structure, the primary box houses a kitchen, dining / living room and master bedroom. An indoor mudroom “link” connects the home to its garage. The owners like to entertain so to enable guests to experience the place, the guest house is connected by an outdoor covered walkway.
Large roof overhangs were designed to shelter the glass and wood vertical surfaces of the building. The drainage from this roof feeds the pond. Integral to the design of the residence, south-facing glazing (Cardinal LoE 272) maximizes light and warmth in the Pacific Northwest. The home also uses radiant heating; the wood and steel construction materials were locally-sourced; and new native vegetation will foster wildlife.
To date the owners regularly observe:
A blue heron (named Herman)
Niamey 2000 is a 1700 square meter (18,000 ft2) housing development that was designed in response to the current housing crisis occurring in Niamey, the capital of Niger. By increasing density, the project proposes a new model for urban housing.
Niamey is home to over one million inhabitants; a majority of the population is poor and only about 20 percent of its residents could classified as middle-class and above. Nevertheless, the socio-economic makeup of the city has shifted dramatically in recent years. Stronger economic growth has fueled migration to the city, leading to a sizable increase in the middle-class population. Property in the older, affluent neighborhoods remains unobtainable, forcing the low-to-middle income population to seek affordable housing further from the city center.
A New Model for Urban Housing
Niamey 2000 takes its inspiration from pre-colonial cities of the region, such as Timbuktu in Mali, Kano in Nigeria, or Zinder in Niger, which were all dense urban centers in their day. The cities’ organic configurations of intricately intertwined homes were often two or three stories in height, while still maintaining a sense of privacy and intimacy.
Like its early predecessors, Niamey 2000 provides privacy for its inhabitants; however, the project strives to address more than the need for culturally appropriate housing. It takes a firm position on material selection by using unfired, earth masonry and passive cooling techniques to protect against Niger’s scorching temperatures. As is the case in many parts of the world, local materials have been increasingly abandoned in urban centers in favor of concrete. The contemporary design of Niamey 2000 reintroduces locally derived resources to the construction industry and offers affordable homes to a broader range of the city’s growing population.
As Niamey continues to grow, and more foreign investors pledge funds for building public as well as private infrastructure, large-scale housing projects are on the horizon. A few, well-conceived projects in the capital–using local expertise and production methods–could set a valuable precedent for Niamey’s future.
The Northgate neighborhood in Seattle is undergoing rapid urban development. With new and planned mixed use infill development and a new light rail station currently under construction, upgraded pedestrian and bicycle improvements are needed to better connect the surrounding neighborhoods. One key identified connection is across I-5 at 100th Street N via a pedestrian/bicycle bridge. This connection would relink the western neighborhoods and North Seattle College to the future station, transit center, bicycle pathways, and commercial core of the area. The bridge is also an opportunity to create an iconic gateway into the city that has the potential to enhance the surrounding landscape and ecology.
The 2,060 foot long bridge structure comprises of four major components. To the east, an approach ramp and a span over 1st Ave NE connect the structure directly to the mezzanine ticketing level of the new light-rail station. To the west, two primary highway spans connect to a curving approach ramp that meets grade on the campus of North Seattle College.
The structure traverses a variety of urban, infrastructural, and ecological conditions. The bridge is designed to unite these varying environments in a singular, unified gesture, enhancing the contrast of these experiential conditions to create a unique pedestrian and bicycling experience within the city.
The structural geometry of the primary spans is made possible by the development of custom cast steel connections, designed to facilitate in the fabrication and ongoing maintenance and inspection of the structure. The resulting form is a tubular structural network that will support the twenty-foot wide walking surface while simultaneously integrating the necessary guardrails, throw barriers, handrails, lighting, and drainage systems into a singular, iconic gesture. The structural form also serves to frame distinctive views of the surrounding context on either side of the highway; the vibrant, multi-modal transit network to the east, and the quiet, pastoral nature preserve to the west.
The project not only reconnects the neighborhoods on either side of I-5, but will also augment the local ecological systems through an integrated landscape design. New and existing vegetated areas accommodate an advanced stormwater management system featuring vernal ponds and swales on both sides. The project substantially enhances the natural habitats of local wildlife as well as the growing pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure of Seattle.
Education is an evocative word, yet currently, schools are formalized spatial structures, designed to give instruction that prioritizes competition over cooperation – while expecting objective responses that leave little room for personal reflection. Fragmented disciplines are further segregated and standardized by the built environment, devaluing both the connections and relationships between spaces.
Northwood is located on an island, directly between the cities of Seattle and Bellevue. The community had not built a new school since the 1950s. The project occupies the corner of a large, multi-use campus, adjacent to one of the last stands of Madrona trees on the island, on a steeply sloped site at the head of a major geological outlet to Lake Washington.
The design is an eco-system of flexible and fluidly connected spaces that promote active learning. Engaged on a hillside with a protected entry on the upper floor, the program layers learning around a courtyard that opens to the Madrona grove and a Boys & Girls Club. Learning spaces ring the courtyard: classrooms on two levels to the north respond to the quiet residential context, community spaces spin outward to engage site partners to the south, while administration and outreach programs flank both points of entry.
Continuity and flexibility are paramount to the ability-based learning program. L-shaped classrooms are clustered in pairs to maximize ownership and function as resource-rich learning and small group spaces. By nesting pairs of classrooms with shared learning spaces along a continuum, it breaks down scale and maintains a strong relationship to the larger school community. In addition, new typologies of learning are formed.
An outdoor “exploratory lab” leverages the contours of the site to create a sheltered space between the built and natural environments. An indoor “discovery lab” leverages two traditionally underutilized community spaces – the library and the cafeteria – to form a new hybrid; equally maker-space, quiet-dining and home for expert in-residence programs.
Sustainability is approached with equal innovation and integration, with many physical connections as curricular:
• 100 kW rooftop solar panels
• Weather stations and energy modeling kiosks visibly integrate with Next Generation Science standards
• Waterways and naturalized treatment
allow hands-on experimentation for instruction and play
• Planted green roofs, balanced daylighting, displacement ventilation, radiant flooring and high performance envelope create human comfort and the beauty necessary for psychological space
• Durable roofing and cladding assure the investment will be protected for generations to come
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Since it was founded in 1991, Nu Skin Enterprises – known for its anti-aging and lifestyle products – had grown beyond its disparate office and research facilities in Provo, Utah. In addition to the need for more space, the company’s leaders desired transparent, light-filled gathering spaces that would reflect Nu Skin’s evolving brand as an innovative global company and foster an open and collaborative office culture.
The Innovation Center is comprised of three primary elements: a three-story building to the north that evokes the scale of Provo’s historic Center Street; a six-story building to the south; and a four-story atrium linking the new buildings to each other and to the existing Nu Skin office tower. The exterior is composed of sleek glass and aluminum volumes that respond to their particular solar orientation and context. Sunshades along the south elevation shelter interior spaces from direct sunlight while framing spectacular views of the Wasatch Mountains. A generous canopy on the south elevation extends the interior spaces into the landscape, providing shade and protection during inclement weather. Crowning the south building is an airfoil-shaped mechanical penthouse, a nod to the barrel-vaulted forms of the original Nu Skin tower.
The new atrium is the heart of the campus, acting as both a spine for connecting multiple program elements and a gathering place for thousands of Nu Skin distributors from around the world. Visitors and employees enter through a glazed volume between the existing office tower and the Innovation Center that visually connects the north and south sides of the campus. At the entrance, a solid granite fountain and sculpted marble reception desk greet visitors to the space. Further west, telescoping glass walls open to a 500-seat meeting room and offer views of a newly designed garden. A grand steel and glass staircase draws people up to the data center, laboratory and office levels that are connected by bridges spanning across the atrium. Glass conference rooms cantilever into the atrium. A gently curving ceiling of translucent glass is suspended below the sky lit roof, mitigating the intense Utah sunlight and softening the interior. A café at the west end of the space affords views of Center Street, linking the atrium directly with the historic downtown.
Iconic forms and transparent materials result in an elegant, light-filled building that echoes Nu Skin’s aspirations for an open, collaborative workplace and modern global headquarters.
Runberg Architecture Group
The 303-unit Odin Apartments is located in Seattle’s resurgent Ballard neighborhood, a waterside working community influenced by Nordic settlers and the timber and maritime industries. To respond to this historic and cultural context, the building mass floats on a traditional Scandinavian white brick base in contrast with the courtyard’s translucent green hues. Named for the chief god and All-father of Norse mythology, Odin’s Nordic sensibility translates throughout the building. For example, birch trees and expansive windows allow natural light to saturate interiors. The material palette interweaves timber and maritime influences, from the exterior cladding down to the interior finishes. Other dynamic expressions include an etched Viking ship, communal fire pits and lobby lighting emulating the aurora borealis.
Odin provides a mid-block connection via a central courtyard with a lush pedestrian mews. The corridor subtly migrates between the structures connecting the adjacent streets, much like the nearby Ballard Locks that connect Puget Sound to Lake Union. The form’s resulting “geode” metaphor enriches the building’s outer shell and inner courtyard elements. Positioning of the geode’s fissure maximizes sun into the courtyard. A dramatic juxtaposition occurs between the enduring hard edge exterior skin contrasting with the delicate and translucent emerald green courtyard surfaces.
Malboeuf Bowie Architecture
Conceived as a sustainable reinterpretation of a monolithic gable roof house, the Palatine Passive House integrates modern residential form with innovative building technologies. The project's intent is to be a model for future development in Seattle, and demonstrates the commitment of the design build team to move towards Architecture 2030 targets. The certified passive house was designed and built by the architect.
The unique façade is composed of hand-charred cedar in a herringbone pattern, adding a twist to a classic Northwest American building material. The dark patina complements the lush, tree-lined neighborhood streets, while the shou sugi ban treatment naturally seals the cedar, eliminating the need for regular maintenance in a rainy Seattle climate. Once inside, the large windows and white, minimal interior maximize natural daylight to create a light filled space that is private from the street.
The first level is a large open volume that spills out to the back yard for the social functions of the residential program. High ceilings on the second floor allow for a mix of private and loft spaces. An open double height circulation area joins the two levels and connects the public and private functions of the house.
In pursuing PHIUS certification, innovative building technologies and construction methods emerged in the envelope assembly, cladding fabrication, and energy management systems. Palatine Passive has an airtight envelope, continuous high-performance insulation, and managed solar gain. The house employs a continuously filtered heat and moisture recovery ventilation system, resulting in excellent air quality and temperature control for a healthy, comfortable living environment. A home management & control system, monitors all major energy components, optimizes efficiency, and allows residents to manage the home from a phone app. .
To offset rising land and construction costs, an urban infill lot was selected. The build team the focused on the budget and performance and quality of the structure. A selection of cost effective yet quality driven durable materials meant the structure would outlive new neighboring houses by multiple decades. In addition to the use of low carbon durable products, the install and quality of the labor exceeded standard construction practice. Replacing an abandoned home with a failing foundation was justified by replacing the structure with a long lasting, high performing home. The urban infill lot selection played a dual role of providing much needed housing while adding to the vibrancy, additional green canopy and visual interest to the neighborhood.
University of Washington
Cities around the world are facing parallel challenges in addressing the resource needs of growing populations while simultaneously striving to decrease their environmental impact. This is especially true with food. In Seattle, a city expected to see 20% growth in the next 20 years, food accounts for roughly half of the average citizen’s ecological footprint. The responses of farmer’s markets, food hubs and municipal compost, have thus far been ineffective at adequately addressing this challenge. Regional food only realizes a small portion of its potential percentage of the urban market, and municipal compost currently relies heavily on fossil-fuel transportation practices to inequitably distribute waste to surrounding communities. These shortcomings are results of inadequate relationships between the components of the regional food system and the city, and non-existent relationships between the components themselves.
This project posits that a reorganization of the programs through which resources are transferred between regional farms and the city is needed if the appropriate patterns of urban consumption are to be scaled-up in an environmentally-responsive, equitable way. The ensuing project seeks to indicate the new forms of urban infrastructure required to enable such a reorganization, and in doing so, design a new system that simplifies that interface between Seattle and Washington State’s regional farms. In designing this system, three strategies were prioritized: understand and implement the appropriate scale of components as they relate to both the city and regional farms; formulate mutually-beneficial conglomerates of system components in order to realize efficiencies that are unattainable otherwise; and capitalize upon existing infrastructure and analogous circumstances within the city that can potentially catalyze the effective distribution of food and waste throughout the system.
The project proposes the implementation of a network that couples regional food/waste conglomerates with the stations of Seattle’s Link Light Rail, allowing for the fluid transfer of resources within the city. The conglomerate program proposed for the University District Light Rail Station has been designed in detail in order to investigate the challenges and possibilities associated with inserting these new programs within the city. The project combines compost processing, food distribution, and market programs with the future light rail station.
As Google has grown, both in size and maturity, they have embarked on the next phase of their corporate campus and the next phase of their employee well-being and identity. Google’s desire to be fully engaged here in Washington drove a key design goal: helping employees feel connected to their surrounding environment.
Transformation of this industrial neighborhood into a healthy place for people, both employees and existing residents, is fundamental to the success of this project. Thus, the project encompasses the building, its interiors, and the surrounding outdoor public spaces: a new sports field for the neighboring elementary school with programmed, shared access for Google employees; and direct building access onto the Cross Kirkland Corridor (CKC), a reclaimed railway right-of-way, turned regional recreational trail, that extends from “Mountain-to-Sound”.
This new found access to the old railway has been celebrated through the creation of recreational opportunities that include an upgraded bike path, sand volleyball court, basketball court, and zip-line. A new pedestrian bridge provides direct access from the upper campus to the new building, as well as an accessible route down to the CKC.
The interior of the building continues the celebration of the connection to the surrounding environment through the creation of four distinct neighborhoods and paired landmarks, inspired by Northwest ecosystems: Sound, Valley, Forest, and Mountain. Intermediate spaces between the neighborhoods include the Dock, the Field, and the Pass - where space expands and contracts denoting passage. Color and material palettes shift across the neighborhoods, but all reinforce the enhanced sophistication the client sought to convey as their brand “grows up.” Connecting the neighborhoods and unifying the space is the “Railway”- a continuous wood visual marker that folds from floor to ceiling, leading employees through this multi-sensory experience. The focus on human health extends to a full-fledged suite of amenities featuring microkitchens, a full service healthy-options cafeteria, active fitness areas, and relaxation areas including massage suites.
Sustainable systems and materials solutions support the building’s LEED Platinum certification and the client’s focus on environmental benefit and employee wellbeing. A highly efficient HVAC system with zoned chilled beam system for temperature control is complimented by day-lighting from four massive skylights with automated controls for optimum performance. The building flushes toilets and irrigates the surrounding landscape with site harvested water, and uses no “red-list” materials. These materials include site harvested wood, non-toxic finishes, and high recycled-content products.
For years, Pierce County’s Traffic Operations - a division responsible for maintaining street signage, striping, and traffic signals - struggled to maintain functionality within antiquated, inadequate facilities. Meanwhile, the Sewer Collections Division was contemplating new facilities of their own. Through a study of alternatives came an “Aha… What if?...” moment, when the idea of co-locating these two seemingly unrelated divisions was born; the Sewer and Traffic Operations Project (STOP).
Appearing as unlikely partners at first, many areas of compatibility became evident, as the County and Design Team worked to analyze programmatic needs, operational strategies, and alternative locations.
As design concepts progressed, inherent programmatic contrasts emerged: clean/dirty, high/low, quiet/noisy, secure/open, transparent/opaque, and civic/industrial. These contrasting pairings, coupled with the County’s commitment to integrate sustainable strategies, inspired a design response that organizes the buildings into a mini-urban grid of internal streets, with a form and materials language that unifies its site. The resulting outcome blends an interdependent program of compatible operations into a machine-like facility, accommodating administrative, crew, equipment maintenance, fabrication, warehousing, equipment storage and fueling & wash functions. Transparency, a primary goal of the County, is apparent at every turn: pedestrian safety and security comes from the ability to see into, through, and beyond. Tough and industrial - yet appealing and professional - the work environments enhance communication, collaboration, safety, and team building, while conserving energy and material resources.
In pursuit of LEED Gold, the project features a ground source heat exchange system and high efficiency HVAC equipment, coupled with passive strategies for shading, daylighting, and natural ventilation, achieving an EUI of 38 (kBTU/SF/Year) in the main building. The facility location, a 28 acre site in South Puyallup, has reduced annual maintenance travel costs by more than $100,000, and substantially reduced
Deployed from a location designed for optimal work flow, staff and crew now exude a sense of elevated professionalism, strong productivity, and inter-divisional camaraderie. Like the white, blue, and chrome vehicles representative of Pierce County, six buildings reflect the crisp image and great pride this agency takes in its work, while affording County residents projected cost savings for decades to come.
Pike Motorworks is located on the former BMW Seattle dealership site on Capitol Hill, including an historic showroom structure, and the service bay between Pike and Pine streets, plus three parking lots. It’s a difficult configuration, large for an urban site but oddly shaped with limited street frontage and only one corner.
The placemaking challenge was to create coherent identity on a site with small, separated facades at each frontage while addressing circulation. Our strategy was to open the site to the public, introducing mid-block connectors with portals on all four streets leading to a central courtyard. These portals provide sightlines into the block, inviting exploration. At side streets, large hanger-style doors fold up to shelter the entryways. The Pine street portal incorporates a massive rolling gate while the south portal utilizes the historic curved facade of the existing structure to draw people in through the public plaza and two-story retail volume.
Against conventional wisdom, the owner agreed to locate residential entries, leasing office, retail and commercial office space inside the courtyard. This bold strategy has proven very successful. The entry process through the courtyard creates a buffer between the vibrant, sometimes gritty Capitol Hill neighborhood and the sanctuary of home. For first-time visitors the process of discovering the internal courtyard surprises and delights. Additionally, there are two large public art pieces in the space, a commissioned sculpture by DeWitt Godfrey and a wall installation along an existing wall of the old service bay, retained as a privacy screen because of a beloved mural on the other side which faces an adjacent restaurant’s patio.
Internalizing the lobbies preserved street frontages for retail activation. The broad mix of uses at grade include: live/work units, retail, and public plazas along the perimeter; office, retail, leasing and residential units and amenities in the courtyard; and light industrial/brewing, restaurant use, in the volume behind the historic showroom facade.
Inside the light filled historic volume, an open catwalk crosses the commercial zone connecting residential units on either side with a clubroom amenity overlooking the active restaurant, blurring the line between the commercial and residential uses.
The great success of this project has been the weaving together of elements. Historic and new, public and private, inside and out, commercial and residential, all blending together in a highly activated and connected set of spaces that reflect the diversity and vitality of one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods.
Luxury and authenticity: two characteristics that top almost all modern traveler’s list of must-haves. But with a penchant for the good-life and the desire to truly become immersed in a locale, just “how small” are guests willing to go when booking their next hotel stay? At what point do the physical parameters of a diminutive guest room begin to take away from those elements that define a luxury experience? Our team of designers embarked on a design exercise to explore and potentially answer those very questions.
As part of the 2016 Seattle Design Festival, our firm designed a temporary, micro-luxury lodging concept that can be used in a variety of ways: from shelter at a music festival to hoteliers needing additional rooms for major events or for camping at Olympic National Forest. Interested in pushing this theoretical design possibility further into the realm of reality, our team took the concept one step further, creating a full-scale mockup of a guest room module and curated a physical and virtual retail showroom experience around it.
The 8x10' guest room module is designed with versatility and luxury in mind. Each lodging module can be customized with one of four material palettes inspired by our most popular destinations. Travelers can choose their preference when booking their trip.
Our team created multiple marketing elements in order to create a fully-immersive project for those visiting out space during the festival including a website, coloring book, custom virtual reality cardboard readers, environmental graphics and postcards. With our project, you can discover endless possibilities; you can find luxury anywhere; you can stay without leaving a trace.
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Welcome to the 2016 Honor Awards Gallery! Congratulations to all our submitters for such a great depth and variety of projects this year. To view the complete submissions (including the Submissions PDF), click each project and scroll through the gallery images.