By Meghan Hall
After revamping its original design scheme, the project team for a 144-unit development in the neighborhood of West Seattle has been given the green light to move past design review. In a meeting that occurred at the end of September, Jenkins Properties Inc. and Public47 Architects presented updated plans for 3201 SW Avalon Way. The project’s revisions were met with support from the southwest design review board, setting the stage for the site’s redevelopment.
The project site is located at the corner of SW Avalon Way and SW Genesee Street, just adjacent to the West Seattle Golf Course. In addition to the apartment units, parking for up to 80 vehicles, as well as 3,500 square feet of ground floor commercial space, are also planned. Other amenities include a semi-public plaza, as well as two roof decks complete with a club room, conference room, golf simulator, public green and grilling stations.
“This property and [these] buildings have been in the same family for multiple generations,” explained Public47’s Scot Carr. “The father grew up in Seattle, and the grandfather built the current Golden Tee, so there’s a strong connection to the site…They’ve helped shape the development objectives for the project…”
Carr added, “The project also intends to accomplish a number of broader city goals including sustainability…an active pedestrian environment and a site specific response that takes advantage of the topography.”
The designs were heavily influenced by several factors. The design team sought to create a plinth that relates to property lines while mitigating grade, and worked to lift up the mass at level one to create a transparent zone which supports openspaces on the ground level. The ground level spaces connect to a healthily-sized public plaza along 31 Ave. SW which provides elevated outdoor dining and gathering space. The upper massing of the building is to be oriented away from high voltage power lines, pushing the south away from the property line to give space between the project and an existing building.
The design evolved in several ways since the project’s last early design guidance meeting. Project documents note that the south facade steps down a whole story based on recommendations from the Board. The public plaza that is in the updated plans grew and evolved from a courtyard to improve pedestrian experience, and the ground-floor commercial program was also added in between design reviews.
Project materials will incorporate a mixture of vertical metal panels in gold and graphite tones, charred wood, steel black guards, coal-colored brick, concrete and light wood. The design team hopes that the materials selection will work to create a unified, durable architectural concept.
Overall, the Review Board was extremely receptive to the changes to the project’s design. The Board liked how the proposed window patterning stepped down in response to topography, and that the facade along 31st street was given additional modulation. The Board also concurred that the programming throughout the building was excellent and that the public experience was vastly improved.
The Board did have a couple of questions for the project team. The Board questioned whether the plaza–which is semi-public–would be secure enough at all hours of the day, and asked the project team to consider lighting schemes that would enhance safety. The Board also asked that the materials palette remain consistent and cohesive, as well. However, in the end, these suggestions were not enough to deter the Board from proceeding forward. All Board members present voted to move the project along, allowing Jenkins Properties and Public47 Architects to finalize their plans for the site.