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Vulcan Receives Approval Of Redesigned Tower For New Google Campus In Seattle’s South Lake Union

Google Vulcan Graphite Design Group Seattle South Lake Union The Lakefront Blocks 630 Boren Avenue North
Photos Courtesy of Graphite Design Group (Old Residential Tower Design)

By Kristin Bentley

After having to redesign a residential tower, that is part of the three block mixed-use development where Google will be relocating its campus, Seattle-based Vulcan Inc. received an approval from the city’s design review board on Wednesday.

New Residential Tower Design

“The massing of the project was one that we walked out of the last meeting feeling like we got the endorsement of,” said Peter Krech from Graphite Design Group, a Seattle-based architecture firm that designed the project. “The idea of the stack being interpreted vertically with the tower was received favorably, however, how we had executed it was not. So we considered what could be done to knit them together to a more holistic design.”

 It’s beautiful and is great to see the development of the studies of the design and how they got there

The half block project, located at 630 Boren Avenue North, is part of a project called The Lakefront Blocks. Once complete, the total project will provide 150 apartment units, approximately 638,000 square feet of office space, about 10,000 square feet of retail space and 788 parking stalls. It stretches across three full blocks in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, along Lake Union’s waterfront.

New Residential Entry

The part of the project that went before the board on Wednesday involves one of the buildings containing six stories for 145,600 square feet of office space and seven residential stories with 69 units above. There will also be about 2,500 square feet of retail, three levels of underground parking, 8,210 square feet of public open space and a through-block connection that provides pedestrians with a quick access through the three blocks from Westlake Avenue to Fairview Avenue North.

“I’m really excited about this response,” said board member Janet Stephenson. “It’s beautiful and is great to see the development of the studies of the design and how they got there.”

At the last design meeting, held in July, the board concluded that the residential tower needed exterior changes that would create a more cohesive look with the lower office levels. The board felt that the vertical lines of the residential space did not mesh well with the horizontal lines of the office space. In response, Graphite Design Group completely redesigned the tower in order to create a look that carried up to the top floor. The board agreed that the new design was much more pleasing than the original design, therefore, granting approval on this portion of the project to move forward.

In two weeks, on September 21, the final part of The Lakefront Blocks will go before the design board. This last block, located at 625 Boren Avenue North, will consist of a 14-story office, retail and apartment building, with six stories of office space and 80 apartment units. According to Dupre + Scott Apartment Advisors, once Vulcan breaks ground on the total project it is anticipated to be complete by February 2019.