Home AEC Proposed 174-Unit Apartment Project Moves Forward in Seattle’ Design Review Process

Proposed 174-Unit Apartment Project Moves Forward in Seattle’ Design Review Process

Seattle, Pollard Entities, Ankrom Moisan

By Catherine Sweeney

An eight-story residential development is continuing to make its way through Seattle’s design review process, recently being given the green light to move on to a recommendation hearing by the city’s Northeast Design Review Board.

The project, which would be located at 3670 Woodland Park Ave. N. is being proposed by Pollard Entities and would include 174 apartment units, four live-work units and three townhouse units. Parking for 92 vehicles is also being proposed.

The project went before the board during a second early design guidance meeting on Monday, at which point Ankrom Moisan – the architecture firm leading the project designs – had a chance to share improved project designs with the board.

Prior to this meeting, the project team met with the board in July for its first EDG meeting. At that time, the design team shared plans for its preferred design concept, “The Wallflower.” This approach preserves a landmark building onsite with a proposed eight-story wrap-around style building.

“The resulting developable envelope produces an Oklahoma-esque massing with a large, cubic volume to the south and a panhandle exclusion to the north along the east property line,” Michael Lama of Ankrom Moisan said.

“At EDG1 the designer review board largely supported our preferred massing option even though it would require the removal of a large tree near the center of the site. However, the board asked us to revise and more clearly document several aspects of that preferred massing.”

Since then, the design team revised proportions of the preferred massing to mitigate the perceived height, bulk and scale. To do this, the proposal would shift the northern facade of the building back by six feet to provide additional room between structures. A courtyard proposed along the eastern portion of the site has also been widened by three feet.

Additionally, the townhouse massing has been updated with notched recesses in plan and a stepping cornice line in elevation for better modulation and visual interest.

“We believe the scale of the townhomes will help transition nicely between the mass of the adjacent eight-story apartment and that of the one story office building already on the site,” Lama said.

At the street level, several changes have also been made to create a more pedestrian-friendly design. The courtyards between existing and proposed structures have been revised to improve pedestrian circulation, and the main entry for the primary structure has been shifted from Woodland Park Ave. to now facing the landmark to draw residents deeper into the space. An exterior stairway linking the upper and lower courtyards has also been added for improved circulation.

Additionally, the design includes storefront glazing and concrete to add a level of distinction at the ground floor level in comparison to the residential space above. While a material palette continues to be developed, a uniform color scheme and window groupings that emphasize horizontality – as opposed to previously proposed vertical banding – are being proposed.

Other materials proposed include metal panel, brick, fiber cement panel and board formed concrete.

Overall, the board approved the project moving forward, noting its appreciation for the upgraded massing and setbacks to the area surrounding the landmark. Further, the board expressed approval for the street level changes, particularly the added exterior stair.

The board also noted its interest in seeing how the material and color palettes continue to develop overtime.