401 9th Avenue N.
Seattle, WA USA

Fall 2008

Seattle, WA

Because VEER lofts is one of the first residences in this section of the South Lake, we took a pioneering approach to design of the outdoor spaces, realizing this is a green outpost in the surrounding blocks for the immediate future. All of the outdoor spaces were proposed to meet ambitious sustainability goals established for the project - including stormwater detention, water conservation, and exceeding local open space requirements.

Originally proposed to soften the road edges, recessed streetscape planters also serve for stormwater detention, reducing water runoff from the site. Layers of landscape begin with curb bulb extentions, lush street margins, spreading street trees, and indivudual landscaped terraces. The Entry is a sparse interpretation of these recessed spaces, with strands of water tolerant Ornamental Horsetail emergin from a plain of beach pebbles.

The Second Level terrace was conceived of as a space for activity and serenity. Towards the entry, the first residential bocce court in the City uses local surplus ground oyster shells as the perfect surfacing for a year-round game of bocce, which also provides a stormwater detention. The court backs up to a gathering space for building residents, complete with outdoor grill and amenities. As you move further into the space, there is a simple thyme garden, essentially a green roof (also for stormwater detention), which provides a sustainable patch of green in the City and a quieter garden with stone pavers and simple seating.

The entire terrace garden is ringed by plantings - to the west, a large structured stormwater planter, one of the first in the City, provides a year-round planting of water tolerant willows, amelanchiers and ornamental horsetail - to the east, planters of bamboo provide a living screen between the residential amenity area and private terraces.