Home AEC Silverstein’s 400-Unit Residential Project Planned for Seattle Moves Ahead in Design Review...

Silverstein’s 400-Unit Residential Project Planned for Seattle Moves Ahead in Design Review Process

Silverstein Properties, Seattle, Handel Architects, Downtown Design Review Board, Shake Shack, The Butcher’s Table, Denny Triangle

By Catherine Sweeney

Silverstein Properties’ 400-unit apartment building is moving forward, following a second recommendation hearing with Seattle’s Downtown Design Review Board. The development company, along with Handel Architects, which is in charge of designs for the project, appeared before the board on Tuesday to share updated plans since its previous recommendation hearing in May. 

The project would be located at 801 Blanchard St. at the intersection of Westlake Avenue, Blanchard Street and 8th Avenue in the Denny Triangle neighborhood. The approximately 46-story high-rise building includes three levels of below-grade parking as well as 969 square feet of retail. In total, the project would encompass 500,026 square feet. 

Located on an L-shaped parcel, the project is developed over the existing four-story “The Butcher’s Table” restaurant and a one-story Shake Shack. The primary entrance to the building would be located along Blanchard, and at the northwest corner, the development team is proposing landscaping, benches and paving to create a strong pedestrian experience. 

During the first recommendation meeting, the design team suggested  a new approach to the exterior of the building, which included a pleated design that adds shadow and texture to the facade of the building. In addition, the board suggested a “framed window facade,” originating from the look of the  structural exterior beams that support the tower.  

At that time, the design team also suggested a mix of dark granite, glass and aluminum metal cladding to enhance these designs. 

“What we gathered from our last meeting was really to find a way to distinguish between the language between the pleated facade and the frame windows. We think we’ve resolved some of those issues quite well. We’ve also worked heavily on the detailing of the building and how the two fabrics come together, how the pinwheel works and how these fabrics actually work throughout the base of the building, through the main body of the building and to the crown of the building,” Glenn Rescalvo, a partner at Handel Architects, said. 

While keeping the framed window and pleated design of the facade the same, the material application was updated. Instead, the design team plans to isolate the champagne metal to the “pleated” language and the use of silvery-white metal to the “framed window” portion of the building. The two contrasting elements are intended to create a wrapping effect around the building, adding further dimension. 

“The frame window facade is really the one that’s anchoring the building, that’s the facade that really carries itself. Not only in composition, but also in materiality down to the base of the building, and then the yellowish color, which is the champagne,” Rescalvo said.

Overall, board members approved of the project, noting their excitement to see the project take shape in such a pivotal location in the city. The board also noted how the project team appeared receptive of previous feedback, particularly about the cohesiveness of the tower and the updates made to the color palette and the massing. 

In addition, the board supported the subtle changes made at the street level and the project team’s ability to accommodate a heavy amount of pedestrian traffic. However, in moving forward, the team was encouraged to consider other types of pedestrian traffic, including bicyclists and those walking dogs. Other guidance provided to the design team included added light in the evening for safety.