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Henry Kunowski

Oh yes, and did they say that the reflecting glass on the south elevation is burning the wetland plants in Tanner Springs Park?

Brian Libby

If that's the case, Henry, it needs to be fixed. Obviously this kind of weird side effect has happened before, like in London with the so-called "Walkie Talkie" building. At the same time, I'm not sure this side effect would have been enough to justify not building a building on this site, or building a largely windowless building. And while I'm no expert, my impression of Tanner Springs Park is that it is a pretty fragile ecosystem they've squeezed into that block.

David Dysert

I appreciate Brad's insights. This building does have some interesting subtle moves and changes its skin with the weather much like Big Pink. I do think the podium should have been treated differently-cold slick reflectivity at the street level is not pedestrian friendly. (And yes Hoyt Street spent some money here but these are also the most expensive units in town. Good design on a more limited budget is the real challenge!) However most of what is being added in the North Pearl of late leaves much to be desired. Boora's own Block 17 and ZGF's(Seattle office)NV (formerly The Overton) are poorly designed buildings on the cheap yet in the highest rent district in the city. The recently approved Block 20 also by Boora is not much better. I'm really glad the significant difference between the original South Pearl and the newer North Pearl was mentioned. Too often the Pearl is cast as one thing. The North Pearl I believe will suffer from the sterile hue of sameness as the years go on. The South Pearl still has a wonderful mixture of old and new and a rich fine grained texture but we are in danger of losing that balance because every low rise building has a target on its back. We need the density but we also need the balance and we can have both if we can craft a code that requires it. I'm afraid the CC2035 will not have enough teeth in it to do so. Great interview Brian, thanks.

David Dysert

and just to add why the balance of old and new is so important... it's not just about aesthetics or "feel". Its about what and who can be there. Do you think a Jimmy Mak's , fullers coffe shop, a family owned print shop, or a great dive bar could afford the top market rents in all new construction? The North Pearl is not only sterile because of its architecture. It is sterile because of what (and who) is NOT going on there.


I was in Tanner Park the other day and was scorched by a large hot sunbeam from this building. This was a very poor design decision to use mirror glass.

Where oh where is the Design Review Commission? They screwed up that hideous lump of coal at the Burnside Bridge, and now this park-ruining L.A. Style soul-less box.

mike c

I agree with David D on the sterile nature of the podium. I have walked around it many times and cant warm up to it. The scale and material palette fails to make the connection to the district.

While I like tall buildings as objects they are not by default better places to live.On the contrary the 6-ish story buildings of the South half of the district create better connections to the street/urban rooms and thus are contributing toward more meaningful place making. A person can still recognize human features from looking six stories down and I suspect that if a survey were to be taken that those in shorter buildings would engage the neighborhood more often than their high rise counterparts.

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