Teaming with VIA architecture, our firm developed the streetscape and rooftop terrace design for this 98-unit apartment building. The street level landscape centers on the entry courtyard, where lush planting and a refined palette of materials offer a place of respite within the bustling South Lake Union neighborhood. The residential lobby architecture reflects the concept of the Engawa, or formal Japanese veranda, as a glazed and elevated structure that frames views into this small, but carefully-crafted outdoor room. Retail spaces on either side will enjoy shared use of the courtyard during business hours.
The slight change in grade between the Engawa and the courtyard — as well as contrasting light and dark hardscape materials — help reinforce a sense of separation and create a gradual transition from private to public open space. A dark colored concrete band draws visitors toward the main lobby entrance – and an aluminum grating acts as a semi-transparent bridge as one passes from the exterior to the interior. On the opposite side of the courtyard, just outside of the interior reading alcove, a single specimen Japanese Maple will provide a focal point marking the change in seasons. Low accent lights subtly highlight the entry path and specimen tree, while a linear LED along the bottom edge of the Engawa contribute to a sense that the lobby space is floating above the courtyard.