Text by Edward Keegan
Raven Terrace is part of a vision for the revitalized Yesler Terrace neighborhood in Seattle. Targeted at families of varied backgrounds, local firm Weber Thompson designed the 29,925-square-foot complex to comply with a new zoning code that incorporates sustainable targets, reduced parking ratios, and design guidelines. The massing of the structure, which was built by Walsh Construction, works with the area’s sloped streets to create a pedestrian-friendly complex that has a strong street presence while still softening the imposing density of 120 units per acre. A seven-story tower holds the corner, and dual rows of two-story townhouses create a courtyard.
Retail space and a community room at the ground level link the building’s occupants to the neighborhood. These shared spaces, both inside and out, feature a neutral materials palette punctuated with bright pops of color.
Sustainable elements include separate heat recovery ventilators for each unit, LED fixtures throughout, and downspouts that direct water from the roofs to planters in the landscape. The building meets Evergreen Sustainable Development Standards and Enterprise Green Communities criteria. Raven Terrace seeks to set a strong precedent for subsequent development in the area.
“It’s quite a nice project and very complex, especially considering the challenges that come with designing affordable housing.”
— Juror Janet Bloomberg
Architect: Weber Thompson
Builder: Walsh Construction
Size: 83 units, ranging from 583 square feet to 1461 square feet