Providing grade related housing, with multiple entrances at the street level, is a newly revived concept here in Seattle. To be successful, the entrances need to provide privacy, security and open space for the resident, while contributing to both the character of the public realm and the building’s architecture. A well considered landscape design is critical to meeting these objectives.
Echoing the architectural concept, Radius SLU's landscape has two distinct characters: the ‘Lake District’ (north) and the ‘Urban Quarter’ (south).
Angled bays mark the Boren Street façade in the Lake District. The landscape design mimics these bays on the ground plane through angled retaining walls to create an ever-changing pedestrian experience as one walks up or down the street. This also allows for various planting depths on either side of the wall and for semi-private stoops. The configuration of the space creates gate alcoves delineating a hierarchy of space, from public to private. Plantings are also used to create subtle transitions and screening from public to private, as well as tilted flat bar railings on top of retaining walls. On the Republican Street side, the stoops reflect the flater façade and are square to the sidewalk. Overall, the variety of shapes and free form plantings reflect a softer design counterpointing the Urban Quarter’s more formal design and plantings.
Reflecting a more urban flavor, in the Urban Quarter, the building is closer to the street, creating a tighter arrangement of interaction between the street and the stoops. To offer more privacy at such close quarters, the railing design changes to a diagonal arrangement that screens when viewed at an acute angle, such as walking on the Harrison Street sidewalk.
There are also four levels of roof top terraces and courtyards at 400 Boren. They provide both private outdoor space as well as communal gathering area to dine, party, sun and play.
Read more about the architecture for this project.