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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tonight’s Design Meetings

posted by on May 13 at 17:23 PM

Oh, dear Slog. I’ve been derelict in my duties to post about three design-review meetings tonight. My shitty excuse? Apparently there’s a print edition of this paper, so I’ve been tapping away at my keyboard writing words for those paper pages. Hardly any time left now, so here, in truncated and abridged form, are summaries of tonight’s meetings.

6th and Lenora Apartments

These twin 24-story towers of—as the name suggests—apartments by developer the Pine Street Group would rise from the former site of the UA 150 theater. Ah, memories. This project is among several twin towers slated to be built downtown over the next few years. I write about them here.



The question for tonight’s meeting: How will GGLO Architecture design the block-long podium (the six stories that fill out the block’s footprint) so that it looks like something pedestrians will want to stroll past and draw people inside? The meeting begins, like now. The info is here.

1200 Stewart

The developer hasn’t provided renderings for this second early-design-guidance meeting. For more info about the project, check out my post about it over here.

The question for tonight’s meeting, which begins at 7:00 p.m., is: Will this thing really going to get built? Considering it’s still in the early-design-guidance stage in the middle of a building slump, completing a twin 400-foot tower project before 2011 seems unlikely. But it would be groovy if Lexas Companies pulls it off, so my fingers are crossed. No renderings yet; I hope to snap some photos at the meeting tonight.

MLK, Jr Way South and South Snoqualmie


This might look like a great design, but—as if time weren’t short enough—I don’t know what it looks like because the .pdf design proposal has crashed my computer three times. So the question to ask at tonight’s meeting: What’s wrong with the design file?

The proposal is for a four-story building containing 83 residential units of affordable hosuing, 8,000 square feet of retail space at the ground level, and parking for 24 vehicles. Info about the meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m., is right here.

RSS icon Comments


Am I alone in kind of digging the trend of twin towers? Couldn't it give Seattle some unique character in the architectural design?

Posted by vooodooo84 | May 13, 2008 6:09 PM

I agree. For one thing, I would prefer a residential tower to a parking lot.

Posted by afsd | May 13, 2008 7:10 PM

Ugh. The new towers couldn't be more characterless, soul-sucking, bland, boring or forgettable.

Has anyone asked the likes of NBBJ, Callison, GGLO, et al, why they can produce really fascinating architecture for their projects overseas, but most of their Seattle work is about as appealing as cold, wet macaroni?

Posted by Original Andrew | May 13, 2008 7:11 PM

Wish you'd posted this earlier.

Or broken it into three posts and posted them one at a time.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 13, 2008 8:23 PM

The reason why twin towers keep popping up is because the zoning code all but requires it - when you build over 85 feet in the zones where these projects are located, which establishes the base of the building, developers are pretty much forced into it because of the zoning code and because of the building code - they did not just wake up one day and decide - ooooh - let's building twin towers all over town. The trick is to make the form that the code forces into something that is graceful in the higher elevations yet provides interesting details and materials in the first three or four stories that people actually see. capiche?

Posted by adorable | May 13, 2008 8:47 PM

@5 Yes I did know that zoning requirements were the reason for all the twin towers, but that doesn't mean that the resulting towers can't be a unique defining feature of Seattle.

Posted by vooodooo84 | May 14, 2008 12:02 AM

Did you miss it? Was this, and the change in the 'staff blogs' sidebar, the announcement that Dom works for The Stranger full-time now?

Posted by NaFun | May 14, 2008 7:46 AM

I have mentioned this many times. If you want to see the result of this type of development then head up to Vancouver Canada. Our downtown is rampant with bland developments like this. Mostly the businesses that open in these buildings are chains that do not help create great neighborhoods. But hopefully Seattle with control the amount of convenience stores and fast food business that open in the wake of these developments. They are rampant in Vancouver. But they uncover an important point about Vancouver. It is just a giant small town with a giant mainstream population that thrive on sports bars and convenience stores. Sure there are exceptions in some areas but mostly downtown is not the place that planners and architects would like you to believe they have created. They are areas with townhouse entrances directly onto the street waiting for this idilic neighborhood feel to happen since it was drawn that way in all the renderings and promotional material. But in reality our downtown is in direct conflict with this type of development. Rampant gang shootings and a failed party zone adjacent to this new vision of Vancouver.
I hope Seattle takes a good look at the failure of Vancouver to create a great city with responsible planning.
The architecture is cheap and soulless. Many say Vancouver is a beautiful city but mostly they are thinking of mountains and beaches. Take those away and you have quite a boring and ugly city that has plundered most of its character and soul. I still have hope for Vancouver though. Someday it will halt this constant erasing of its character, its constant desire to be a so called big city a "world class city". Whatever that means.
Seattle can do better because it has so much established character, don't blow it like Vancouver has.

Posted by -B- | May 14, 2008 10:39 AM

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