The Othello Square development arose as a direct response to the displacement of long-time residents of the Othello neighborhood in South Seattle. Orenda, a workforce housing development situated within this development, unites a vision for housing, healthcare and early education.
325,000 SF Residential
176 Residential Units
Targeting LEED Silver
Weber Thompson is providing architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture services for Orenda. Additionally, Weber Thompson oversaw the master plan for the larger Othello Square development.
images: Weber Thompson
Orenda provides neighborhood housing atop the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) and an early learning childcare facility. It helps minimize displacement in the Othello neighborhood by providing workforce housing, healthcare and childcare.
Authentic community engagement
The building program design and artistic expression were born out of a deep community engagement effort spanning over two years, with a goal to reflect the cultural richness of the multiple communities that will use the facility. The early learning childcare facility plans to provide care for infants to preschool-aged children and will be a convenient and safe place for families living in the building, working in the clinic, or living in the Othello neighborhood.
Housing for the people
The residential portion of the building includes approximately 176 units of workforce housing. With a mix of studio, 1-bedroom, 1-bedroom + den, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom units, the building can be home to a variety of people and lifestyles. While studios may be ideal for a single person, 3-bedroom units may be of interest to families or roommates. The diverse unit mix reflects the evolving needs of the Othello neighborhood.
Orenda Interior Design
Located within the future “Othello Square” campus at the corner of South Othello Street and Martin Luther King Way in Seattle, Orenda will provide 176 units of workforce housing.
Globally inspired design
Inspired by the local community’s cultural diversity, the playful, layered and inviting design of Orenda is an elegant balance of modern and artisanal styles. A sunny color palette and textile-inspired finishes create pleasant spaces that feel handcrafted. Packed with color, tactile materials and thoughtful design, Orenda feels authentic and welcoming.
The bright color palette continues in the units where two different color schemes are offered. In the kitchens, stylish pendants hang over the quartz countertop where blue or orange upper cabinets tastefully complement the matte black cabinets. The wood laminate flooring and the large bathrooms are family and pet friendly.
On the first floor, the lobby, community room and fitness room’s colorful patterns, finishes and lights tie the spaces together to create a warm first impression. The community room, with its window counter, conference table and tastefully designed coffee bar is the perfect place to work from home or wait for a ride. The rooftop lounge was designed to support flexible uses. A large welcoming kitchen and game room offer plenty of entertainment opportunities. The metal screen at the banquette creates an intimate nook in the otherwise open space and provides privacy between the lounge, game room and kitchen.
Orenda Landscape Architecture
The Othello Square master plan drove the landscape design for each of Othello Square’s developments, and Orenda is no exception. The landscape weaves together neighborhood history and diversity with a global perspective on plant selection and health.
Designing for health
Orenda is a building focused on health and wellness of all ages, but especially youth. A partnership with the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic and an early learning facility have factored heavily into the project. From inside the building, views of plants help promote healing and provide privacy from patient rooms. The vegetation is a curated selection of low-allergen plants that will delight the senses without adversely affecting some visitors.
Creating a sense of place
Another primary goal for the landscape design was to transform a formerly inhospitable space – a bare lot along a busy thoroughfare – into a pleasing pedestrian corridor at the intersection of transit, jobs, retail and community. The landscape serves to soften this automobile-meets-pedestrian threshold and create a gateway to the internal open spaces of the Othello Square project. Furthermore, the landscape is a celebration of cultural expressions found in the Othello neighborhood. Patterns, colors, and textures abound at this lush and inviting community-centered development.
Orenda in the News
176 units leasing at Othello Square, with new elementary now open too
Daily Journal of Commerce
October 15, 2021
Second Odessa Brown clinic will increase reach in high-need area
Puget Sound Business Journal
November 5, 2019
Groundbreaking for new Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic
King 5 News
September 21, 2019
Celebrating a second Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic in South Seattle
Seattle Children’s Hospital Blog
September 19, 2019
Affordable housing: Seattle must do more to fill missing middle
August 7, 2019
Orenda is the PNW first public-private equity investment for workforce housing
June 12, 2019
Children’s investment will double affordable housing in unique South Seattle development
Puget Sound Business Journal
June 11, 2019
Southeast Seattle gets ready for multi-million dollar mixed-use project
June 7, 2019