Aegis Living Lake Union in Seattle is the world’s first assisted living community designed to meet the rigorous Living Building Challenge certification. Completed in 2022, the Ankrom Moisan-designed, 70,000 sf-building is fully electrified. All commercial dryers, domestic hot water, and kitchen equipment are powered by electricity in lieu of gas, which reduces the facility’s carbon footprint.
The community will source power through an onsite solar array and an offsite solar energy farm. Key energy reduction measures include improved exterior insulation, triple pane windows, heat recovery ventilation, heat pump heating and cooling, LED lighting and lighting control sensors, and installation of all high-efficiency appliances.
The building provides 79 living units, including a mix of studio and one-bedroom options with some apartments dedicated to memory care. Amenities include a spa/wellness center with a salon, massage suite, and fitness center. A variety of gathering spaces are available for residents to spend time with family, friends, and neighbors, including an onsite cinema and sky lounge terrace with views of Lake Union.
The aesthetics and environmentalism of Aegis Living Lake Union were inspired by the historic rowing clubs and culture of the area. The exterior consists of natural materials including lapped cedar siding and rough brick, and the surrounding landscaping has been thoughtfully curated to consider biodiversity and rainfall. The pattern of cedar cladding on the north side of the building was designed to evoke the image of oars through water, while the unique steel pattern entry canopy echoes the rowing shell and the shape of the oars.
The top-level roof overhang was extended to create additional roof area to accommodate more rooftop solar panels. These strong shapes and patterns can be seen in the exterior brickwork and entry canopy and continue into the interior of the building.
The lobby presents a tribute to the 1936 University of Washington men’s rowing team that took gold at the Berlin Olympics. An original Pocock racing shell is suspended from the sustainably sourced wood ceiling—defined by a geometric composition suggesting rowing cadence and waves. Nature is also frequently alluded to in many details. Biophilic principles are evidenced through natural light spilling through wide windows, and a greenspace and watercourse offering peace and mindfulness via patterns in the carpet, the shape of the lighting fixtures, and the art adorning the walls.
On the building team:
Owner and/or developer: Aegis Senior Living Communities, LLC
Design architect: Ankrom Moisan
Architect of record: Ankrom Moisan
MEP engineer: PAE Engineers
Structural engineer: Bykonen Carter Quinn
General contractor/construction manager: Absher Construction