First Central Station Update
Photo courtesy of  Genesee Martin

Photo courtesy of Genesee Martin

Our team is happy to report that First Central Station, a 385 unit mixed-use development in Seattle’s central district, has received unanimous approval from the East Design Review Board. b9 architects, Build LLC, Karen Kiest Landscape Architects, and local artist Paul Rucker presented the design. 

The meeting was the second and final stage in the city’s design review process and highlighted the team’s efforts to work with neighbors, community organizations, city officials, and the design review board to provide a unique project that is sensitive to a variety of concerns. The collaborative efforts of the architectural design team, b9 architects and Build LLC, have resulted in a project that captures the distinct design philosophies of each office and projected them on to different portions of the site, a strategy that produces a sense that the buildings have emerged from multiple voices as opposed to a single master plan.


The team utilized a variety of communication tools to bring the design review board up to speed on the project – renderings, diagrams, and a presentation model assisted in making plain the complexities of the design. In the end, the support of the board was a reminder that successful design can emerge from complex collaboration and neighborhood inclusion. It can be hard work, but the result, we believe, will be one of a kind.


To learn more about First Central Station and its design philosophy, be sure to check out Build LLC's blog post HERE

All images courtesy of b9 architects, Build LLC, and Karen Kiest Landscape Architects

Massing evolutions of each building:

Landscape Plan by Karen Kiest Landscape Architects 

Site Plan Diagrams

Site concepts by local artist, Paul Rucker

"On June 10, 1918, Seattle saw its first local jazz band perform in Washington Hall, at 14th Avenue and Fir Street. In the 1920s and 1930s jazz flourished in the Central District. We have an opportunity with the construction of First Central Station to acknowledge this legacy by integrating musical notation and themes in the wayfinding. The example shown here uses quarter notes as directional signs to bordering neighborhoods.

Naming of buildings uses solfège

Do= Building #1

Re= Building #2

Mi= Building #3

Solfège is a system for singing notes. If you’re familiar with the famous Rogers and Hammerstein song “Do-Re-Mi” from The Sound of Music, you already know the solfège note names: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la and ti."


**To pause on a specific image, hover your mouse over the image

"House : Housing :: Zone : Zoning" in participation with 2016 Seattle Design Festival


Thanks to everyone who joined the discussion! The event was engaging, insightful, and relevant for both the public and the design community. A special thanks to David Neiman for moderating and our stellar panel - Josh Bower, David Cutler, Gabriel Grant, Cary Moon, and Nick Welch.

**All images courtesy of William Wright

Is Seattle's current zoning code preventing or encouraging positive growth in Seattle?

What actions can developers, architects, planners, politicians, taxpayers do to create positive change in Seattle's growth - urbanistically, demographically, culturally, and spatially?

Where are there areas of potential innovative ways of growth and change, pertaining to housing and zoning?


In participation of this year's Seattle Design Festival and Design in Public’s year’s theme of “Design Change,” b9 architects is excited to host a panel discussion on the relation between housing and zoning in terms of Seattle’s current growth.

Through both a moderated conversation with our esteemed panel and the opportunity for an open dialogue about Seattle's rapidly changing urban fabric, we will delve into issues of zoning, density, value, and change. We invite you to join the conversation about how to create positive change and growth in Seattle! 

Where: b9 architects
When: Friday, Sept. 16, 6-8 PM

Our panel:

David Neiman (moderator)
Neiman Taber Architects

Josh Brower
Veris Law Group

David Cutler
Principal, Office for the City

Gabriel Grant
Principal, Spectrum Development Solutions 

Cary Moon
Urban Planner/Activist

Nick Welch
Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development

progress at Central Residence

Last week, Brad and Angela checked on the progress of our project, Central Residence, with our client and contractor, Fradkin Fine Construction. This single family home in particular is a project that we at b9 are especially excited about since it was first conceptualized in 2008. We finally began construction in July 2015 this year and expect it to be completed by early September 2016.

The 2,600 sf custom home is designed for a family that wanted a variety of spaces that would allow for more open and communal living with semi-private spaces for guests to relax and be able to access easily. The result is a singular L-shaped structure bisected with a breezeway that connects the front yard and entryway to a large deck and more private rear yard. At the interior an open double and triple-height space fills the home with daylight and provides fluid connections between the spaces.

We're very excited with the progress and encourage you to check in for more updates in a month as construction comes to an end.

Street facade showing our major moves of the entry pathway and sloped roof to emphasis the interior vertical space

Street facade showing our major moves of the entry pathway and sloped roof to emphasis the interior vertical space

Covered breezeway

Covered breezeway

Kitchen and living space

Kitchen and living space

Our vertical open space viewed from different levels

Our vertical open space viewed from different levels

Guest room at ground level showing built-in storage with access to the vertical open space shown above

Guest room at ground level showing built-in storage with access to the vertical open space shown above

Master bedoom with mezzanine

Master bedoom with mezzanine

View to the northeast from master bedroom

View to the northeast from master bedroom

Back facade with access to basement

Back facade with access to basement

Back patio

Back patio

First Thursday at b9, presenting Arnulfo Ramirez

B9 is excited to have Arnulfo Ramirez Torres as our showcasing artist for this month ! We will have an opening show this Thursday as a part of Pioneer Square's First Thursday Art Walk as well as coinciding with Seattle's 2nd annual Art Fair.

Called "The Public Realm," Ramirez Torres' work aims to examine the relationship between Seattle's green public space and the rest of the city. Be sure to stop by our office this Thursday, August 4th from 5:30-8:30pm for some great art, free food and drinks, and good company !

Thanks to everyone who came out for the artwalk ! It was great fun. Arnulfo's work will be showcased at b9 architects until mid-September.