The Marion West receives top honors as Residential Housing Project of the Year
SEATTLE— July 12, 2017— Runberg Architecture Group, a Seattle-based design firm specializing in urban mixed-use, housing and adaptive reuse projects, recently took home three awards – two Grand Awards and one Merit Award – at the 2017 Pacific Coast Builders Conference Gold Nugget Awards ceremony.
Judges recognized The Marion West with two Grand Awards for “Residential Housing Project of the Year—Attached Product’ and ‘Affordable Housing Community—100 dwelling units per acre or more.’ In addition, Abbey Lincoln Court received a Merit Award in the ‘Affordable Housing Community—100 dwelling units per acre or more’ category.
Developed through a unique partnership of the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), YouthCare and the University District Food Bank, The Marion West offers 29 units of workforce housing and 20 units of permanent supportive housing. The 7,400-square-foot rooftop was converted into a garden that provides fresh produce for the food bank downstairs. The Marion West provides space for counseling and on-site employment training for formerly homeless youth, a food bank and a café.
“We’re humbled to be a part of this unique project and receive this prestigious award with LIHI and BNBuilders,” said Michele Wang, principal at Runberg Architecture Group. “We thank LIHI for having the vision to put together this unique client group – homeless youth, workforce housing, food bank, and social equity café. It is so important to acknowledge that a project that serves our society’s most vulnerable members has a place in our society, integrated into the heart of a neighborhood and not pushed out to the fringes.”
In a region experiencing rapidly rising housing costs, the project allows those who would otherwise be pushed to outlying neighborhoods to remain in the University District, where they may already feel a sense of community and can easily access employment, health care, education opportunities, healthy food choices and job training.
The Marion West accomplishes this proudly, making a visible design statement that investment in the community should be celebrated.
“Runberg Architecture Group was incredibly thoughtful throughout The Marion West’s design process,” said Sharon Lee, executive director of LIHI. “Runberg Architecture Group had a challenging program and site. They delivered an outstanding building. We are thrilled that the Runberg team’s design successfully accommodates housing for homeless youth and low-wage workers, and provides space for essential community services.”
The Gold Nugget Award judges were inspired by the community impact of this project, and its potential to serve as a national model for others.
“Recognizing [The Marion West] for a Grand Award was an easy call,” reads the judges statement. “This project sets the standard for both affordable housing as well as addressing the urgent need to house homeless youth.”
Abbey Lincoln Court, named for jazz singer and civil rights activist Abbey Lincoln, is located in Seattle’s Central District. Known for contributions to the performing and fine arts, the neighborhood represents an essential part of African American culture. Abbey Lincoln Court provides 68 workforce housing apartments – including larger homes for families – as well as two life-work units. The building shares a courtyard with the adjacent Ernestine Anderson Place, creating a gathering space where residents of both communities can interact.
With this year’s three accolades, Runberg Architecture Group has received 19 Grand Awards and 17 Merit Awards for a total of 36 Gold Nugget Awards.
Now in its 54th year, the Gold Nugget Awards is the largest and most prestigious competition of its kind in the nation. The Gold Nugget Awards recognize architectural design and planning excellence in community and home design, green-built housing, site planning, commercial, retail, mixed-use development and specialty housing categories.
Winners this year were chosen from 630 entries from around the world.
About Runberg Architecture Group
Since its founding in 1998, Runberg Architecture Group has earned a name for thoughtful architectural design that balances the unique social, economic and environmental interests of each project. Runberg designs sustainable mixed-use urban environments where people want to be – vibrant, engaging places that create high and enduring value for its clients and communities. The firm understands that quality of life is highest in places where social, economic and environmental interests are in harmony. Runberg’s mission is to design places that achieve this harmony for its clients and communities by honoring the distinct needs and opportunities of each project.