The Rise on Madison / Blake House

The result of an innovative partnership between Plymouth Housing and Bellwether Housing, The Rise on Madison / Blake House is Seattle’s first affordable high rise in over 50 years.

Client Name

Bellwether Housing
Plymouth Housing


Seattle, WA


Interior Design

Program Overview

187’ Tower
17 Stories
1 Level Partially Below Grade
21,592 SF Site
263,100 GSF
244,100 SF Residential
5,130 SF Retail
365 Residential Units
5 Staff Parking Stalls

Completion Date

Completed 2023


NAIOP Night of the Stars
2023 Affordable Housing Development of the Year

Completed 2023


Jeff Reibman
Principal in Charge

Bernadette Kelly
Interior Design Principal


The first affordable high-rise housing built by a nonprofit in Seattle, The Rise on Madison / Blake House is a unique combination of housing operated by both Plymouth and Bellwether Housing. Two distinct buildings have been combined to make this building possible. Weber Thompson is the architect and interior designer for the project.

photography by moris moreno photography

The Rise on Madison / Blake House Architecture

Centrally located in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood, The Rise on Madison / Blake House adds over 350 much needed affordable housing units. Plymouth Housing provides 112 studio units serving seniors who have experienced chronic homelessness and three units for live-in staff. On floors six through 17, Bellwether Housing provides 250 apartments from studios to three bedrooms serving income qualified individuals and families.

Photo of an outside area at The Blake / The Rise on Madison

Impactful design

Public funding stipulates specific design and layout requirements. The project’s impactful design goes beyond code to target both efficiency and affordability. Secondly, this high-rise serves low-income residents paying below-market rents. Thus, revenue will be less than comparable market-rate projects so special attention has been paid to reducing operating costs. 

The Rise on Madison / Blake House Interior Design

The interior design at The Rise on Madison / Blake House is inviting and modern while providing a strong sense of safety and security for residents.

1400 Madison Plymouth Housing Community Room

Durable and stylish interiors

Despite the need for reduced operational costs, the community includes durable, stylish finishes and amenities that make this urban apartment building feel like home.


As the first affordable high rise in Seattle in over 50 years, The Rise on Madison / Blake House has a lot to prove. The project aims to raise the bar by creating a model for environmental, financial, and social success that others can implement going forward. Towards this goal, Bellwether units have undergone a performance optimization study to examine systems within the building vis a vis lifecycle cost.

Additionally, the health of a building and its residents are closely linked. In order to create the healthiest building possible, designers looked to Passive House principles. Triple-pane windows and Heat Recovery Ventilators throughout mean that occupants are breathing only the cleanest air and are safe from harmful particulates that tend to hang at the 3.5 ft level, aka the height of children, of wheelchairs, and of beds. Daylighting also plays a central role in the design of the project, as research links exposure to sunlight to an increase in mental health.

The Rise on Madison / Blake House in the News

Video courtesy Bellwether Housing & Plymouth Housing

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