Seattle may be getting it’s slimmest tower yet, as the proposal to construct a 42-story, 312-unit apartment building with ground floor retail building at 2300 8th Ave. in the city’s Denny Triangle neighborhood materializes. In a relatively short Thanksgiving week, the city’s design and planning staff was busy as it reviewed one of two sizable projects that went in front of the city’s Design Review Board on Tuesday.
Developer North American Asset Management Group LLC and its architect Caron Architecture are proposing the mixed-use development to be located at the intersections of Denny Way, Bell Street and 8th Avenue in the city’s bustling Denny Triangle neighborhood. The very narrow, triangular lot may become home to a building that along with the 312 one- and two-bedroom units will also offer 4,068 square feet of street level commercial space and below-grade parking for 72 vehicles. The developer’s proposal also calls for 103 bike stalls, responding to the needs of the urban inhabitants the building is hoping it will attract.
The site itself is very narrow and totals less than 10,000 feet. The full buildout is looking to place almost 380,000 square feet of space on that lot, with the largest above-ground floor sizes just shy of 8,500 square feet. The primary residential entrance will be at the corner of 8th Avenue and Bell Street. The plans call for amenity spaces to be located on the second level and a roof top deck that overlooks the city. The architect hopes this feature will create a recognizable form among other high rises in the neighborhood.
However, the most dramatic design element of the building is a series of fissures along the vertical face of the building that break up the massing and give the building a unique form that breaks up the sleek lines of the glass envelope. The appearance resembles an assembly of glass shards put together to form a distinct unit. The space inside the fissure would be reserved for balconies, so that they don’t protrude from the surface and distract from the narrow structure.
The design team is led by Caron Architecture. Landscape design is led by Karen Keist Landscape Architects, KPFF Consulting Engineers is the civil engineer on the project, Tres West Engineers is the MEP engineer, DCI Engineers will serve as the structural engineers, and EA Engineering, Science and Technology will lead the environmental studies on the project.
The site allows for a structure up to 440 feet in heigh and even though the site will provide parking, none is required, since the property is in Seattle’s urban center. With uncomfortable pedestrian environments along Denny Way and Bell Street, the project can cultivate the streetscapes into appealing pathways, allowing the extension of pedestrian oriented corridors, improvement of the neighborhood’s curb appeal and showcasing the proposed tower, according to the developer’s proposal.
As the board voted approvingly to support the overall design of the proposal, it provided a number of recommendations, none of which seemed too onerous for the design team. They included items like adding operability of windows in the lower portion of the structure, excluding uplighting of trees on the sidewalks and balcony lighting to be subtle and low.