Works Partnership have gone before the Design Commission with a design for a 19 story tower on Block 75 of the Burnside Bridgehead. The proposed building would include 85 to 90 to residential units above commercial space. Parking is planned at 1:1 ratio in a mechanical parking system with storage at levels 3 and 4.
The site for the tower is the quarter block at the corner of NE Davis St and 3rd Ave. The project would be the second phase of development on Block 75, following on from the under-construction Slate mixed use building. The Union Arms, a 1908 apartment building located on the same block, will remain.
The primary material for the tower would be a clear window wall, with opaque metal panels integrated into the system. Although the architects were investigating the use of cross-laminated timber early on in the design process it is now planned to use post-tensioned concrete for building’s structural frame.
The tower will complete the northern edge of a new alleyway that will connect NE MLK to 3rd Ave, on axis with the main entry to the Eastside Exchange building. The uppermost of the two commercial levels will include entries directly onto the landscaped passage.
A memo [PDF] to the Design Commission was published prior to the January 28th Design Advice Request hearing, outlining potential areas for discussion including: massing; ground floor activation; potential oriel window modification; building materials; and rooftop mechanical equipment. In general the project was very well received, with the conversation focussing on the ground level activation given that a significant amount of the lower floor is taken up by parking and loading functions. The applicants were encouraged to further study whether it would be possible to use the ramp built for the first phase to access the second phase mechanical parking system. Summing up her comments on the project was Commissioner Livingston:
I think the parti is really strong. I like the building, and I hope that you continue to push it in this direction. I think that it will be very well viewed from the west side of the river. I like the way that this pops up above the Eastside Exchange, and I think that it’s a really nice compliment to phase I… next time you’re in I hope that you bring views from across the river that have all of the current construction in them…. I think that most of the challenges of the building are at the ground floor. You do need to address canopies, even though there’s a lot of overhang. There’s not enough overhang close to the street in some areas to provide good [pedestrian] protection. Understanding that it may impact costs, it seems like you need to change the program on Davis St. If you can shift the parking access and eliminate the loading you would just have a ground floor that works really really well.
The applicants have the option to return for a second Design Advice Request, though are not required to do so. The project will be required to go through a Type III Design Review with public hearings before the Design Commission.