Wednesday evening marked the fourth and final design review meeting for MartinSelig Real Estate as the Seattle’s West Review Board approved designs for a nearly 170,000 square foot mixed-use building. The project, located at 401 Queen Anne Avenue North, will now move forward in the entitlement process, after a swift meeting with the review board.
“We’re two years into this process. We’re really excited about this project,” Jack McCullough, a member of the development team at Martin Selig, said. “One thing that the Martin Selig team looked at when they first saw this site was the reinvigoration of what is now Climate Pledge Arena and the location on Harrison, the opportunity to really do something significant here at a place that was going to have again happily higher pedestrian volumes than we’ve seen in the past decade.”
In general, the Perkins + Will-designed project will include 143,844 square feet of office space as well as 25,851 square feet of ground floor retail. In addition, the six-story development will include 171 parking stalls and 112 bicycle stalls. The building is also designed with a wooden canopied entrance along Queen Anne as well as an inviting, landscaped courtyard.
“We believe this will be experienced as pavilions of space around a courtyard engaging every edge of the detail and creating an active and inviting public space,” Erik Mott, design director with Perkins + Will, said.
During the fourth and final meeting, however, the architecture firm finalized details based on guidance from the review board. Previously, the West Review Board questioned the harmony between the upper and lower levels of the building as well as the lack of differentiation between the main entryway and secondary entryways. Additionally, the board had asked the project team to reconsider the different types of glass but were generally more supportive of the other materials selected by the team.
In returning to the board, Perkins + Will followed up on these suggestions in order to create a more cohesive, succinct, design. Beginning with the lower volume, Perkins + Will redesigned the structure and adjusted the location of the retail entries to create more unified proportions. The new design also includes a modulated frontage with different levels of setback to create a more harmonious feel overall.
Mott explained that the improved design also involves a more layered look in order to blend upper and lower portions of the building. To do this, the design team has incorporated layered vertical paneling, which will also provide additional texture to the building.
“We have incorporated material from the upper volume into the lower volume to unify the material language. We have reduced the number of glazing types. We have added a beltline between the first and second levels which acts as an armature for signage as well as an architectural delineation that creates additional scale to the lower mass,” Mott said.
Perkins + Will also made adjustments to the front entryway, providing a ‘chunkier’ wood canopy and effectively eliminating the glass canopy that was initially proposed in previous designs.
“We revised the detailing of the architecture at the entries including the canopies and the inclusion of a portal frame to accentuate the entry, so there’s been a lot of work done. It’s at a detailed level but we think it has a significant impact and it’s all been done in direct response to the board’s guidance,” Mott said.
While eliminating the glass canopy, the team will keep the bone white exterior of the building the same, helping aid in the design’s consistency while adding a backdrop for landscaping as well as future signage.
“This is a building that is unified in its color and differentiated in its detail. It is further regulated in its lines that define the system placement and a variety of treatments through the detail give character and a sense of craftedness to the architecture,” Mott said.
“…We see the signage as another opportunity to play up the Arts District and we look forward to creative signage, designers, tenants with decimation and branded uses in these spaces coming forward with some wonderful signs and giving character of a different scale.”
With the details of the project fine-tuned and the board seeing no other issues, a formal vote was cast, allowing the project to move forward with no other guidance.