Burke & Union

Seattle, Washington

Simplifying City Life in the U-District

  • Neighborhood

    University District

  • Type


  • Size

    84,996 SF
    61 Residential Units

  • Status

    Completed 2018

  • Services


  • Photographer

    Built Work Photography

  • Client

    Newmark Realty Capital, Inc.

Blazing a trail on the Burke Gilman

Burke & Union is located just north of the University of Washington, abutting the historic Burke Gilman Trail. Our project involved transforming an existing parking lot into an apartment building, with the added challenge of working within a trapezoidal-shaped site with multiple environmental issues: a high-water table, peat settlement, historic landfill, methane abatement and a potential landslide. One by one, we solved the challenges, creating a community that has catalyzed a wave of engaging multi-family projects along Union Bay Place Northeast.

Two material languages, one timeless result

Through our internal design collaboration as well as in the Seattle Review Board’s process, we created a clear vision for Burke & Union. Our structure and materials directly respond to the building’s use, its users and its spatial positioning. We wrapped durable brick around the retail zone and used articulated standing seam metal siding to highlight the residential units. We brought in warm wood siding to tie together these two materials, creating an overall aesthetic that is elegant and timeless.

Design in the details

With only 61 units to consider, our teams were able to dedicate time to imagine how residents would live in the Burke & Union. We gave careful attention to the personality of each and every unit, as well as shared spaces including a courtyard that opens to the Burke Gilman Trail. We even designed for often-forgotten details: a simple trash enclosure was thoughtfully planned and detailed. It is composed of clear-stain cedar, concrete block, exposed timber purlins and a green roof of sedum. This meticulous craftsmanship set a standard for the variety of projects that ensued in the area.

Program: 61 units and two levels of parking, tucked behind retail. Fitness room, dog wash, bike parking, courtyard that opens to the Burke Gilman trail, rooftop deck with southern views.