Cristalla finds a balance between a glassy, modern high rise and an ornate, highly detailed historic building. The original terra cotta facades of the Crystal Pool Natatorium – a glass-domed saltwater bath house designed by renowned theatre architect Marcus Priteca – were identified as a cherished icon by the Belltown community who clamored to have them restored. Honoring this history and neighborhood context were two key driving forces in Cristalla’s design.
Our designers created a definitive backdrop to the heritage facades, using a stepped, layered palette of Italian limestone and champagne aluminum panels, in concert with a cascading composition of blue glass, evoking flowing water and reflecting the site’s original use. The Natatorium’s original dome – demolished in the 1960s – is replicated above the entrance with a steel pergola that unifies the two remaining terra cotta facades.
When constructed in 2005, Cristalla was one of the first high rise residential buildings built in Seattle in over a decade. It represented a kind of luxury living the city lacked, and apparently demanded. Over 100 sales were made in the first two weeks of the sales center opening.
On Architecture: The Problem with Most High Rises is How Well They Reach the Street
April 25, 2006
Past Present: Saving the Crystal Pool’s Heritage
Puget Sound Business Journal
June 10, 2005
Seattle 100: The Cristalla Building
Seattle Homes and Lifestyles
2006 Multifamily Executive Merit Award
2006 Masonry Institute of Washington Award of Commendation