Mere steps to Lake Union, the Galer Street Hill Climb, and a short bike or bus ride to Downtown Seattle, Fremont, Wallingford, and the University District – Westlake Steps occupies a prime lot with the potential to mark a new era of redevelopment in a transitional neighborhood. Visible from I-5 and Capitol Hill, this project will not blend into its surroundings but will serve as a visual beacon.
These two buildings have been designed as a lakeside residence, taking inspiration from the nautical language for the surrounding marinas. Additionally, the hillside context has resulted in stepped massing that responds to topography while also reflecting the rhythm and proportion of the neighborhood, with generous setbacks to create areas of rest and retreat.
Along Dexter Ave N and Westlake Ave N, the building façades are set back over eight feet from the property line, with a set back area of 20 feet mid-block. These set back areas offer outdoor space for residents, while also allowing area of landscaping and privacy. Should retail inhabit ground-level spaces, these areas will offer retail space on the sidewalk without interfering with pedestrian flow. The deeper set back in the middle of the block on Westlake Ave N offers a generous transition between public and private.
The design and configuration of the buildings provides many corner conditions, each an opportunity to relate to the street and articulate the corners to create a lively focal point. Furthering the depth and visual interest are frame elements which add to the playful composition of the buildings, and provide a strong expression of the base, a middle and the top of the building.
Along Westlake Ave N, the building is U-shaped with a large, open courtyard facing Lake Union. The resulting street facing façades are smaller and separated by 80’ of open space. A pavilion sited within the courtyard is a unique design amenity for the residents and the neighborhood. This is a pedestrian scaled structure that helps break down the massing and offers a focal point for the building. Largely composed of glass, this small building provides views from the street into the courtyard beyond, developing an inside/outside relationship. This frames the landscaping in the courtyard beyond and invites views deep into the project.
Learn about Westlake Steps, Lot 2.
A look at what Holland is doing with megaproject Westlake Steps
Daily Journal of Commerce
January 12, 2015
The First Step for Westlake Steps is Residential
May 27, 2014
Holland teeing up 325 units in SLU
Daily Journal of Commerce
March 4, 2014
A big sale epitomizes South Lake Union metamorphosis
Puget Sound Business Journal
February 28, 2014