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Design details released about new development in Seattle’s vibrant Belltown district


Design details released about new development in Seattle’s vibrant Belltown district

Connecting the building, called Archetype, to the street, neighborhood, and bay is a key imperative.

By John Caulfield, Senior Editor | June 30, 2021
First floor elevation of 11-story Archetype, a mixed-use building under development in Seattle
First floor elevation of 11-story Archetype, a mixed-use building under development in Seattle

Sometime in mid to late 2022, construction is scheduled to start on Archetype, an 11-story mixed-use development that, upon completion in 2024, will be wedged between the historic Hull and Glaser buildings on 1st Avenue in Seattle’s Belltown, that city’s most densely populated neighborhood, which has transformed from what was once a low-rent warehouse district to a walkable community with galleries, restaurants, shops, residential towers and lofts, schools and colleges that include the Art Institute of Seattle.

Seattle-based HEWITT is the Executive Architect on the Archetype project for the developer Burrard Properties, which also brought on board Basel, Switzerland-based Herzog & de Meuron as Design Consultant. The latter firm’s expertise includes respecting legacy buildings and their historical context while transforming spaces into something new. This is Herzog & De Meuron’s first project in Seattle.

“Herzog & de Meuron’s expertise in creating iconic buildings, coupled with our intimate knowledge and lived experience in Seattle, creates a team strategically positioned to champion good design in the heart of our city,” says Julia Nagele, Principal and Director of Design at HEWITT.

Today, the developer released design details about Archetype, as well as renderings.



The building, on a 13,230-sf square lot, is located at a pivotal juncture where the northern entrance to the new Seattle waterfront intersects with Belltown.

A laneway with cafe is one of Archetype's amenities

An active streetfront is the entry point to a semi-private laneway that connects Archetype to its alley and 1st Avenue.

Laneway that goes partly into Archetype building


Two curved showcases, or vitrines, will provide a continuous active street front and mark the entry point of a semi-private laneway heading to the building’s rear alley. (Alleys have cultural and historic significance in Seattle, and this project presents an opportunity to connect the alley with 1st Avenue.) This is where Archetype opens toward Elliott Bay via its crescent shape that creates a courtyard surrounded by residential units with views of the bay and beyond.

Fostering a relationship with the street and neighborhood was an important project priority for the design team. Street level retail, food and beverage outlets are fronted by a low barrier, high transparency façade that alludes to classical architectural forms and maximizes natural light and air through an expansive window system. Metal and mineral cladding are meant to recall Belltown’s warehouse and semi-industrial roots.


First-floor commercial space at Archetype.

The designers proposed 7,500 sf of commercial space as part of Archetype.


The developer did not release information about this project’s cost. BD&C confirmed that there will be “up to” 180 apartments in the building, and that Swinerton is serving in a construction management capacity. An “early design guidance” document that the designers submitted to Seattle’s Downtown Design Review Board last September proposed that Archetype would be 95 ft tall, have between one and three stories of below-grade parking with 30-50 parking stalls and 165 bicycle parking spaces, a rooftop amenity of between 5,000 and 10,000 sf, and about 7,500 sf of street-level commercial.


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