You can get a quick handle on the latest building trends in your neighborhood in one evening of design review.Two projects fully emblematic of the respective waves of development moving across First Hill and Capitol Hill will come before the review board Wednesday night. On Capitol Hill at 1300 E Pike, six stories of what could be Seattle’s first Passive House-certified, net-zero energy, most-hyphenated ever, mixed-use development will be up for review. On First Hill, meanwhile, the story at 707 Terry is not one but a set of matchy matchy, artfully leaning, skybridge-connected 33-story towers just elegant enough to call the Frye Museum a neighbor.
1300 E Pike
On Capitol Hill, the buildings may only reach six or seven stories but they’re starting to get complicated. Destined to rise above the corner at 13th and Pike currently home to the former Fran’s Chocolates, this uber-green development cruised through its first review this spring. CHS reported then on the first of its kind “sustainable apartment building” that will include “a passive house design that reduces energy needs to as close to zero as possible.”
The passive features include increased insulation, and “exterior shading devices” to shield the south and western faces of the building from “heat loads.” Meanwhile, the design will use “the old rhythm of the column spacing” and “many elements such as the brick and the ornamental pieces on the current facade” but will not include full preservation of the auto row building currently at the corner sold by Fran’s Chocolates after moving its operations to Georgetown in 2014.
In the first review, the board was mostly concerned with the project’s plans for the first floor’s planned spaces while some public comment focused on the building it would replace — “Concerned that yet another character structure will be demolished in the heart of the Pike/Pine neighborhood,” was how the city’s planner recorded one speaker’s worries. In its updated plans for the project, developer Cascade Built and the architects at Weber Thompson have transitioned the original plans for ground floor “live/work” units to “flexible commercial” space, bringing the total retail space planned for the project up to 4,000 square feet from 2,200. The cut and additional changes also drops the planned unit count to 45 from 55.
The project has also dropped the number of planned underground parking spaces to 13 — yes, apparently a super green development can have parking. Just down the street from the Bullitt Center, the world’s first living building, the project will aspire to the standards set by Passive House Institute US. 1300 E Pike developers, for what its worthy, say they are “pursuing shared parking development” with an “adjacent project site.”
Here is how Cascade Built with developer Maria Barrientos assisting the project describes its final design:
As supported in the EDG meeting, the developer proposes to demolish the existing structure and construct a highly energy efficient new structure that anchors to the ground level and reclaims the corner with a unique outdoor space programed for both residents and the corner retail tenant.
“The development team seeks to create an interesting commingled entry space that merges retail and residential foot traffic, to create more vibrancy along the currently very quiet and passive 13th Street and providing a beacon at the east edge of the Pike-Pine corridor,” they write.
On First Hill, it’s all about the height. “At the Early Design Guidance Meeting, the Board discussed their positive reaction to the preferred concept presented in the Early Design Packet,” notes from the Westbank Frye Highrise project’s early design guidance review in January read. “They were happy to see a tall building in the high rise zone.” But there is clearly more art and ambition at play in this project design from Seattle architecture firm Perkins+Will for the development on land owned by the Frye Art Museum.
Earlier this year, the board challenged the project’s backers to create “an iconic building and not a background building,” and “to embrace the building design clout with forward thinking concepts as illustrated in the proposed façade screen system, slanted towers, and sculptural sky bridge.”
Yes, it’s a tall order.
The architects and developer return Wednesday night with a plan for two, 33-story towers housing 440 apartment units above a three-story podium with 7,600 square feet of commercial space located at street level, and underground parking for 283 vehicles.
The podium — including the “Pedestrian and Parking Pocket” formed between the bases of the two towers — might take up the bulk of the night’s discussion. “At the next meeting the Board wants to see an inviting and transparent interior space, welcoming for visitors and the public,” the board said in January. Board members also called on the architects to better connect with the surrounding street. “The street design should bridge the right of way with unique paving and landscaping to create a plaza here,” the notes record. “The Board would like to see the planting strip give way, in part, to public seating and have design elements bleed into the Terry Streetscape.”
The rest of the 30 stories? The board was pretty A-OK with those.