Axle

Seattle, Washington

Anchoring Interbay’s Metamorphosis

  • Neighborhood

    Interbay

  • Type

    Multi-Family

  • Size

    150,000 SF
    226 Residential Units

  • Sustainability

    LEED Gold

  • Status

    Completed 2018

  • Services

    Architecture
    Construction Administration

  • Awards

    2019 NAIOP Night of the Stars: Multi-Family Residential Urban Development of the Year: More than 100 Units, Nominee

  • Photographer

    Will Austin Photography

  • Client

    LMC

An early opportunity to define a neighborhood

The Interbay neighborhood has historically been considered an “in-between” zone—located in a valley between Queen Anne Hill on the east, and Magnolia on the west. Axle Apartments re-imagines this intermediary space as a new place to call home. Acting as the new center (or “axle”) of many established surrounding neighborhood “spokes,” the project represents a unique opportunity for affordable housing within Seattle, during an important moment in Interbay’s transformation.

Hospitable space amidst the hustle

Located among historically shorter industrial buildings, Axle is highly visible from the eastern slope of Magnolia neighborhood. To create harmony in the skyline, we needed to reduce the perceived mass of the building overall—while operating within a very narrow footprint. In response to these constraints, the plan of the building took on a “Z” shape, with two triangular courtyards: one facing east and one facing west. The resulting form offers a dynamic play of façade planes that maximize western views toward nearby bodies of water, while engaging with traffic to the east at a comfortable, oblique angle. The building twists and articulates itself toward vistas and light—pulling back from the frenetic, arterial pace of 15th Avenue West, while creating a newly-sheltered and human-scaled 16th Avenue. Patterning and detailing on the exterior establish a language within the skyline, while an art wall along 15th elevates the driving experience for the automotive passers-by.

Reverent and responsive to nature

The goal of achieving LEED Gold certification stands as a proud moment for the project team. Going above and beyond the baseline code requirements to accomplish this designation took careful efforts by many stakeholders throughout the entire design and construction process. This communal intention ultimately led to a building that not only engages the social community around it, but also treads lightly in the natural environment.

Program: Double height lobby, co-working space, bar-cade, lounge with grand stair to roof; roof terrace, fitness center with outdoor yoga area, bike lounge/repair.