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1111 E Union Design Review #3 – Looking Better

By December 3, 2009

Capitol Hill

Thanks to catching a Tweet from @jseattle I swung by the 1111 E Design review instead of grabbing dinner. Over at CHS, Josh Mahar, has a good pre-review write up with renderings.

Overall, the developer and Runberg Architecture, were very responsive to the last set of recommendations and I’m pleased with the changes they made since the last review.

However, I’m sad that they lost the sloping roof line in favor of going with a step-up on the east side of the building. I commented on this at the review but in hindsight wish I had been more forceful in my comment. I think the sloping roof was a very distinctive design, one that is a departure from the “vernacular of the neighborhood”, but one unique to this project due to the triangular site. I also agree with the people who commented before me that they’re missing on a good opportunity to use more glass on the three corners. How, cool would it be to have an apartment whose living room has a tall glass corner?

It also looks like they’re going to have a pretty nice roof top. Looks like a good size, will have an outdoor fireplace and a 600 square foot green house/solarium. Wasn’t clear, but I hope they put in an outdoor kitchen with a BBQ and sink. While we added a gas BBQ at Trace, it would be awesome to also have a sink up there.

Here are my notes from what other people had to say:

  • Using Trace North, Agnes Lofts, and Chloe for comparisons isn’t a good because they’re not representative of the character of the neighborhood (I disagree, our neighborhood is now a mix of traditional and modern.)
  • The facade along Union should be the consistent facade, not Madison, as it faces the Arts Coop (I disagree, the facade facing the Arts Coop will be a more interesting one, especially if they go with the glass box lobby.)
  • A number of people commented that they didn’t like having the building floating above a glass base and that it is not consistent with the vernacular of the neighborhood (I don’t mind it.)
  • Doesn’t like the recessed windows

Dennis Saxman was there and echo’d the board’s comments that he was impressed to the degree of responsiveness from the architect and developer (many of the above comments were his.)

Side note: Now I haven’t been to a lot of design reviews, but boy do they use a lot of fancy architect words.

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