Home Commercial Westbank Tower to Include Geodesic Dome Atop 46-Story Building

Westbank Tower to Include Geodesic Dome Atop 46-Story Building

Westbank | Rendering: James K.M Cheng Architects

Belltown is set to get a massive new high-rise tower that will inevitably help shape Seattle’s ever changing skyline. Vancouver, British Columbia-based Westbank, with James K.M Cheng Architects, MG2 Architects and PFS Studio landscape architects, is proposing a 46-story tower at 2000 3rd Avenue.

According to plans submitted to the city, the team is hoping to bring a 453-unit, mixed-use development ranging from one- to three-bedroom units to the neighborhood. There will also be seven levels of below-grade parking provided which will serve about 372 cars. The one-quarter block on the north corner of Third Avenue and Virginia Street is 19,440 square feet. Plans call for commercial retail on the street level, six levels of commercial office space and 38 stories of residential rental units.

Breaking down the tower, the residential portion will total about 405,472 square feet, office space will take up another 103,480 square feet, the two levels of retail will take 21,910 square feet and the seven and a half levels of below-grade parking will have about 146,234 square feet.

But the focal point of the project is no doubt the geodesic dome the team plans to put on top of the tower. Inside the dome will be three levels of residential amenity spaces, which will include a cantilevered swimming pool, which would sit on the second level of the amenity space, a fitness area on the first level and a rooftop garden on the very top.

Another highlight of the project will be the “Grand Hall,” a communal space that serves as a lobby. It’s a space where commercial retail can “merge with other spaces that are traditionally isolated from other building functions such as residential or commercial lobbies.”

The inspiration for this building draws from three neighboring buildings in the Belltown neighborhood. The design takes inspiration from the “simplicity of the column and slab parts of the Bon Marche Parking Garage” for the structural scheme in the new project. It also looked to the Pike & Virginia project and the Palladian Building, which shows how retail spaces should address the street, according to the plans.

“A goal of the project is maintain this diverse mix of uses and to design a building that complements and even improves on the neighborhood on a number of levels: the street level pedestrian experience; reinforcing the 3rd Avenue gateway between Belltown and the Commercial Core; and enhancing the already iconic skyline of Seattle,” according to the plans submitted.

The project would also include an involved art project by local Seattle glass artist John Hogan. The “veil,” according to the plans, would be one of the defining features of the building.

A previous proposal was submitted and approved by the City of Seattle in March 2007. That plan called for a 43-story building with 5,131 square feet of retail, 431 residential units and 40 hotel rooms. Those plans also included above and below-grade parking for 364 cars.

Right now, the site is occupied by a surface parking lot, which fits about 60 cars. With the new plans, the tower would comprise three parcels of land in the Belltown Urban Center Village.

Westbank, James KM Cheng and PFS Studio have worked together in the past to create the Shaw Tower, Fairmont Pacific Rim and Residences on Georgia in Vancouver. The Shaw Tower is among the tallest buildings in Vancouver, and is comprised of 24 stories of condos on top of a 16-story office building. The Fairmont Pacific Rim and Residences is a hotel consisting of 367 rooms and 175 residential homes. They’ve also worked on the 62-story Shangri-La Vancouver, which is the tallest building in Vancouver.

The full team includes Virginia Street Joint Venture LLC, Westbank, James KM Cheng Architects Inc., MG2, PFS Studio, John Hogan, Glotman Simpson, Integral, Nemetz S/A & Associates, RDH, KPFF, Hart Crowser and Hayes Davidson.