BUILD build-out
February 26, 2009, 11:35 am
Filed under: Architecture, BUILD LLC, Seattle, Urban Architecture

It has taken us 17 months to finally finish our own office here at the Park Modern, but that gave us a little time to focus our industrious nature on the task.  Through our good buddy Chris, we were able to obtain some unused perforated metal material that was going to be scrapped from a local project.  Keeping this in mind, we employed the same tricks we use to keep our client’s budgets reasonable on our own space- finding reusable or discounted materials and finding a way to turn them into elegant compositions (in our humble opinion).


Here’s the material breakdown:

BUILD build-out materials breakout

1. Homasote display board attached to vertical slats
2. 1½” x 2” vertical cedar slats at varying lengths
3. Track lights concealed above cedar slats: Juno T12W Trac-Master w/ T359W w/ basic mini universal heads
4. 1 1/4” x 8” cedar slats @ 6”oc (composed of laminating (2) 5/8” slats).
5. 4” deep x 1 ¼” metal flashing “champagne” to match corrugated steel soffit
6. Corrugated, perforated steel panels (off-cuts provided from nearby large project).
7. 4’ long fluorescent lights, boxed out with flashing to match soffit
8. Conference table by SPD; solid laminated Anigre top with steel base
9. Concrete slab floor with clear sealer
10. Maple plywood cabinets with exposed edges and clear sealed
11. 4’ long fluorescent light boxed out with cedar trim
12. 6062 “Boeing” aluminum alloy, steel plate wall hanging
13. Track lights: Juno T12W Trac-Master w/ T359W w/ basic mini universal heads
14. Orange acrylic panel mounted to wall
15. Corten steel sheet panel mounted to wall
16. Cork panel wall mounted
17. 3-Form Drift Green panel wall mounted
18. Solid fir plank, clear sealed and wall mounted
19. Chalk board panel wall mounted with inset Mockett pull for chalk holder

The construction process vid

The quick cost summary looks like this (in round numbers):
free    perforated metal panels (salvaged and reused)
$350    210 lineal feet of matching edge metal (fabricated)
$225    improperly milled clear cedar material (mill unable to sell conventionally)
$1150    additional lumber, cedar, hardware and materials for ceiling assembly
$1200    additional track lighting, heads and lamps
$1250    conference table base; top was salvaged anigre laid-up by our shop, SPD
$75    homasote panels
free    6062 plate (salvaged from Boeing Surplus many years ago)
$35    acrylic panel, cut to size
$95    corten steel panel
$35    cork panel on multiply base
free    3-Form panel (salvaged)
$295     fir plank (bought from reclaimed supplier)
$85     chalk board panel
$300    general consumables

$5,095    project total

Now granted, the labor was our own.   If you factor the labor in at our normal billing rates, the $5,095 balloons up to $14,000.  This makes our office improvements a tidy $22/ square foot, everything included.  An industrious budget by an industrious group in times that call for industrious solutions.

Cheers from your friends at BUILD


The Modern List Seattle

In addition to a few recent projects here in Seattle, we’ve noticed that there are some great examples of architecture that have been around for decades and should be represented. Today’s post should bring you up to speed with the current work as well as some staples of Seattle design that we should all be familiar with. Many more on The Modern List Seattle… and as always, let us know what we missed.

Recently, the City of Seattle authorized the painting of repetitive geometrical patterns to the underside of some of the more oppressive I-5 underpasses. We got our own up here in Ravenna, and we have to admit that it makes the pedestrian experience much more pleasant. Coincidence that we named this location as one of the top candidates to turn into a legal graffiti park in an earlier post?
[Photo by BUILD LLC]

The geometrical frames also allow for some good impromptu Banksy like stenciling.
[Photo by BUILD LLC]

Four Seasons Hotel and ART restaurant, 99 Union St


[Photo courtesy of The Four Seasons]

Spring Hill Restaurant in West Seattle at 4437 California Ave SW, 206.935.1075 by Heliotrope Architects

[Photos courtesy of Spring Hill]

Remedy Teas on Capital Hill at 345 15th Avenue East, (206) 323-4832 by Adams Mohler Ghillino Architects
[Photo courtesy of Remedy Teas]

Queen Anne Residence on 8th Ave W by Eric Cobb


[Photos by BUILD LLC]

Queen Anne Residence by Olson Architects
[Photo by BUILD LLC]

Sea-Tac Airport Concourse A addition by NBBJ, landscape architect Robert Murase
[Photos by BUILD LLC]

4109 Lake Washington Blvd S. designed by Thomas Isarankura, developed and built by Ainslie-Davis Construction. The house is currently on the market and BUILD kicked the tires at the open house. We were very pleased with the overall design, detailing and amazing lot. Nice job to the develop/design/build team.
[Photo courtesy of Ainslie Davis Construction]

Seattle’s finally got itself a good place to buy European city bikes. Dutch Bike Co., 4421 Shilshole Ave NW, 206.789.1678

Molly Moon’s Ice Cream Shop, 1622 ½ N 45th St, Wallingford, 206.547.5105
[Photo by TinderBOX]

Trabant Coffee Shop downtown at 602 2nd Ave by Bo Hagood of Made LLC and Travis Latta of Lattaworks
[Photo by BUILD LLC]

Seattle Public Library Montlake Branch by Weinstein A|U
Weinstein AU- Montlake Library
[Photos courtesy of Weinstein A|U]

Bethany Community Church‎ at 8023 Green Lake Dr N by Miller|Hull

[Photo by BUILD LLC]

Fremont Peak Park is one of the best little secrets of the city. Located in Fremont near the zoo at 4357 Palatine Ave. N, by Haddad-Drugan. Read about the complicated process to get it realized here.
[Photos courtesy of Haddad-Drugan]

Novelty Hill Januik Winery at 14710 Woodinville-Redmond Rd NE by Mithun


[Photos courtesy of Mithun]

Seattle’s starting to feel a little more big city with the push for better transportation and real transportation maps (inspired by the New York Subway system maps).
thanks to Gavin for the tip
[Image courtesy of Puget Sound Rail]

Pifer House, 1217 Willard Ave W at Parsons Gardens by Ralph Anderson, 1970
[Photo by BUILD LLC]

Marine Sciences Building on the UW campus by Liddle & Jones, landscape by Richard Haag, 1967
[Photo by BUILD LLC]

Nuclear Reactor Building on the UW campus by The Architect Artist Group (Lovett, Streissguth, Zema, Torrence), 1960. The building was recently added to the state list of historic buildings, read more about it here.
[Photo by BUILD LLC]

On the Radar
November 20, 2008, 4:17 pm
Filed under: Architecture, Design, On the Radar, Seattle, Travel, Urban Architecture

On the Radar is BUILD’s every-couple-of-weeks synopsis of what we’re up to up.

Lately our favorite gratuitous image site is suckerPUNCHdaily which asks: “when was the last time you got punched by design?”
-thanks to Ryan


If you’re looking for more data to sink your teeth into head on over to Greenlineblog, it’s full of juicy information on design, technology and sustainability.
-thanks to Brian


The A-Cero website was new to us and the BUILD jury is still out.  Sexy architectural experience or overdesigned and complicated, you be the judge.
-either way, thanks to Josiah


A couple of weeks ago we started the Northwest Architecture Meetup group and rounded up the troops at Picnic for our first event.  If you live in or around Seattle and enjoy meeting design-minded peeps get yourself signed up for future soirees.  Check it out here.

We’ve got a new favorite drink.  A St. Germain is 1 shot gin, 1/2 shot St. Germain, 3 shots tonic water, throw a lime in there.


Porcelanosa out of Spain is manufacturing large porcelain tiles textured and graphically matched with a specific wood species.  The flooring material is said to be cost-effective,  maintenance free and extremely durable.  Typically we like materials to look like what they are but for some reason the images of Porcelanosa’s Woodtec line caught our eye.  It seems like this product line could have a wide range of uses like walls, backsplashes, indoor-outdoor surfaces… Find out more here.
-thanks to Ken


If you have not yet watched Annie Leonard’s Story of Stuff close down our silly little blog immediately and watch it here.  Then email it to people you like.  Solutions can be found here.


Have we been drinking too much again or did this last election exhibit better communication graphics than all other elections combined?  Check out the dynamic maps, cartograms dingbats, icons and yes.. cupcakes.






For a very thorough study in brand logo identity over time check this out.
-thanks to Angela


For a hilarious study of personal identity guidelines give Tank Studio’s Christopher Doyle a visit.
-thanks to Angela


The California Academy of Sciences designed by Architecture God Renzo Piano opened up last month and our BUILD senior field correspondent sent us photos hot off the press.
-thanks to Alex for the photos


JetBlue’s Terminal 5 at JFK re-opened on October 22nd.  The original TWA terminal by Eero Saarinen was given a $743M addition and update by Gensler and finally the elegant lines and cool lounges regain the lost romance of travel.  Get yourself on a flight to Manhattan and we’ll see you in the Deep Blue Bar for St. Germains.


There’s a new player in the modern lodging game.  i-escape’s website is a bit cluttered but it offers some hip hideaways and boutique hotels.  Afterall, you’ve got to compare the prices on tablethotels with something.

Modern cottages and cabins are a tough find but if you’re in need of lodging in Northern California look into the Healdsburg Cottages.  They’re website needs a nice modern update but the grounds look inspiring and the cottages, appropriately named Charles, Ray, George and Eileen, are little modern gems.
-thanks to ken

As far as non-fiction goes around here, Malcolm Gladwell is the bomb.  He just released Outliers, his latest book, on Tuesday November 18th and BUILD got a hot little copy in our hands.  “An ‘Outlier’ is a scientific term to describe things or phenomena that lie outside normal experience.”


Although Andrea Zittel has been producing art since the early 90’s we were only recently introduced to her work at MOMA.  Her recent projects look at our living spaces, functional household objects and daily behaviors.  She boils these items down to caricatures of habitation creating final pieces that are simple, humorous and refreshingly playful.  It’s nice to check in with her work after designing big houses all day.


The Bellevue Art Museum is at the tail end of John Grade’s: Disintegration Sculpture through Landscape; a phenomenal body of work that deserves some attention.  Get over to BAM, one of the few Steven Holl projects in the northwest, and check it out before the show closes on November 30th.


You most likely remember the provocative images from Chris Jordan’s “Running the Numbers” series which looks behind the curtain of our collective behavior in the U.S.  His photo montages are fascinating, haunting and infectious.  He recently spoke at the TED conference and if you’re a Seattle-ite get on over to Grey Gallery & Lounge on the Pike-Pine corridor and join us for the ARCADE release party on Wednesday, December 3rd which features Jordan’s “The Art of Waste”.


Despite the terrible market, nice projects continue to spring up in the northwest.  Portland’s newest addition, the Clinton Condominiums, relies on close collaboration between developer, architect and builder.  Hat’s off to developer Randy Rapaport who supported great design in a time when the path of least resistance is anything but.  The building is filling up with great homeowners, a bakery and a yoga studio.  Seattle take note – when you build sensible, timeless architecture, good peeps show up.
-thanks to Brian




Mini-malls, parking lots and big box stores seem to be the new focus of society-conscious architects willing to throw schematic ideas at real problems.  Recently, “The Washington Post assembled a team of artists, architects, engineers and developers to think creatively about what to do with spaces once occupied by big box stores”… Kudos to The Washington Post.  Read more about the second lives of big box stores here.

…that oughta keep you busy over the weekend

AIA Seattle: 2008 Honor Award Winners for Washington Architecture


AIA Seattle hosted the 2008 Honor Awards for Washington Architecture on Monday, November 3rd in Seattle. This years theme was “Perform Transform -recognizing the challenges and opportunities inherent in our work as this new century unfolds.  Our work must perform technically, aesthetically and humanistically.  Our practice must transform itself in response.”  BUILD was in attendance and we took thorough notes for those of you who couldn’t make it. The jury was as follows:

Moderator: Susan Szenasy (SS), Editor in Chief Metropolis Magazine, New York, NY
Patricia Patkau (PP), of Patkau Architects, Vancouver, B.C.
Nader Tehrani (NT), of Office dA, Boston, MA
David Baker (DB), of David Baker + Partners, San Francisco, CA

The ceremony started off with an interpretive dance which was a new twist – although beautifully done, do we really need to make this thing any more esoteric than it already is?  But, just when team BUILD thought the ceremony was going down in flames, the jury stepped in and provided a thought provoking, down-to-earth discussion and selected some projects that we are big fans of.  Enjoy…



Vo Shed by Atelier Jones
PP: The small shed which recycles vegetables brings about invention and delight
NT: Diminutive in scale it acts like a folly
SS: The jury was hoping for more of this type of work


Bumper Crop by The Miller Hull Partnership
DB: We take for granted that the suburban landscape can be transformed, this project is a re-colonization of the parking lot.
PP: This project isn’t conceptual enough




Banner Gateway Medical Center by NBBJ
DB: The architecture speaks to how the patient is treated, it humanizes the experience
NT: The project reinvigorates the entire medical facility
PP: Breaking down the hospital into smaller chunks is better for the architecture and medical practice


The Terry Thomas by Weber Thompson Architects
NT: The ephemerality of the interior and quality of the space makes it a wonderful environment to be in.  Unfortunately the same level of sophistication was not matched on the outside of the building.
PP: The courtyard makes for a greater sense of community and the interior provides a value of the work environment.
DB: The systems were well integrated


56 Piles by E. Cobb Architects
PP: The project presents spatial organization as a future tool for architecture.  The overall composition rethinks the singular space.


Agnes Lofts by Weinstein A|U
NT: It’s rare to see a project like this with such a sense of reduction, the project is really about taking away, erasing.
DB: The building adopts key views and activates the ground.



Kitsap County Administration Building by The Miller Hull Partnership
DB: It is rare to do something of this level in a city this small
PP: There were no plan drawings turned in with this entry – plans should always be included.


Envelope House by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
NT: The problem of the site is engaging like a puzzle piece, while compact that project extrudes out bays and rooms
DB: The project is sustainable because of its density


Gym by E. Cobb Architects
PP: The spaces are nestled in intelligent ways.  The inventive compaction is offset by loose fabrication.  The space divides and also reinterprets the historic architecture.


Noah’s Ark by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen
PP: Animals made out of recycled materials.


EX3 Ron Sandwith Teen Center by Weinstein A|U
PP: The warehouse construction has a quality of ephemeral light.


Seattle Public Library Montlake Branch by Weinstein A|U
NT: There is a strong relationship between the whole and the parts, and between the inside and the outside.  The building doesn’t over scale the neighborhood.  The downspouts gotta go.
Weinstein AU- Montlake Library


Woodway Residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
DB: The project is a good example of sustainability by reusing a 1960’s case study house.
PP: A good exploration of possibilities and investment.


7 by Hutchinson & Maul
PP: The project is abstract but deeply embedded in place.
NT: There was something about the project that was unnamable.


In conclusion:
The jury mentioned that the notion of bottom up sustainable design is very relevant and that inventing new categories for sustainable design will be increasingly important.  All the 2008 honor award entries can be viewed here.

A huge thanks to the 2008 AIA Honor Awards Committee Members that must have worked their tails off to make all this happen.

Throw down a comment and let us know what you think…

Hot Shots of the Northwest

Recently the AIA Seattle hosted an exhibit titled NEW EDGE |NEW BLOOD which introduced several up and coming young architecture firms in the northwest.  It was a significant show and the work on the walls was worth taking note of.  Today’s post takes a look at a number of these firms; get familiar with these groups – they are the future of architecture in the northwest.

PIQUE LLC 206.328.4423, 10453 66th Ave S, Seattle
There is an exhilarating language being created by the design team at Pique.  The separation of volumes, intricate massing and relationship among a variety of materials holds your full attention; at the same time the architecture peacefully fits into the context of Oregon’s dry ranchlands to the east.  The work seems to belong right where it’s at, a quality highly sought after by most homeowners and architects.

Garren Residence in Bend, OR

Pb Elemental 206.285.1464, 1916 23rd Ave S, Seattle
The hard working Rock-Stars over at Pb Elemental continue to produce work that is drammatic in form and engaging in function.  As developers, architects and builders they are blazing the trail for a new model of design-build in the northwest.  A tour of their website shows that they are up to a staggering amount of work in and around Seattle.  With projects ranging from single family to multi-family, live-work and commercial, these guys are bringing modernism to the people.

23rd Ave Live-Work

Crockett Residence

chadbourne + doss 206.860.1975, 1469 22nd Ave, Seattle
The firm is finding a handsome balance between modern design orchestrated within existing, older surroundings.  Carefully inserting sleek modern forms into antiquated structures requires a great amount of discipline and these guys are becoming masters at it.  As empty lots become increasingly scarce in the Northwest this philosophy of inserting new functions into existing spaces is not only becoming important, it’s becoming necessary.

Lobster Boat Residence in Seattle, WA

Writable Offices in Seattle, WA

Netshed Wetroom in Astoria, OR

Graham Baba Architects 206.323.9932, 1st Ave, Seattle
Their work sparks curiosity; the attention given to details and the intentional relationships between different materials creates a wonderful experience of space and form.  These are architects that understand the trades – they know what can and cannot be done with steel, glass and wood.  Their Osteria La Spiga Restaurant on Capitol Hill is a great excuse to kick the tires on some nice architecture and have some good eats.  In addition to their built work they’ve got some significant projects in development.

Beck House in Seattle, WA

Osteria La Spiga in Seattle, WA

Heliotrope Architects 5140 Ballard Ave NW Suite B, Seattle
The look of the architecture they are crafting has a sophistication rarely seen in the northwest.  As Seattle continues to climb the design savvy scale, Heliotrope will be among those leading the charge.  Stairs are among the toughest challenge for architects and these guys knock the ball out of the park with their stair designs.  Pay a visit to Alchemy Collections at 2029 2nd Ave.

Palm Desert Residence in California

Alchemy Collections

Workshop A|D 206.903.5414, 911 Western Ave, Suite 215, Seattle
In addition to a portfolio of gorgeous work, these guys win best website award out of the bunch.  Architects take note – viewers like to see big, beautiful images on your websites.  What strikes us most about the work is a sense of refined discipline.  Everything seems to have a reason for being – each jog, each material change; all carried out with elegance.  The delicate, warm interiors are balanced out with more durable, sensible exterior shells.

Nearpoint Residence in Anchorage, AK

Road D Shelter on Table Mountain, WA

Zero Plus 206.323.4009 1321 E Pine, Seattle
Rich in form and cerebral in process the work of Zero Plus is experimental and pushes northwest design into new ground.  Each project seems to stem from significant ideas and the finished forms benefit from the serendipity of process.  Delicate and intricate the work retains a sense of structural rigor.  Conscious moves to expose the nuts and bolts of the architecture allows the viewer to follow the story of each project.

Zero Plus Architects Office

Snee-oosh near Deception Pass, WA

Thanks to Ed Weinstein, Eric Cobb, Carrie Schilling and David Spiker for curating the New Edge | New Blood exhibit and bringing these firms to our attention.

Models for Low-Rise Multi-Family Housing: U.S.
October 21, 2008, 11:53 pm
Filed under: Architecture, Seattle, Urban Architecture

As part 2 of the low-rise multi-family series, and in response to our Urban Blight post, we want to bring the discussion back to the United States and more specifically the Pacific Northwest.  Today’s post covers several projects which provide good models for housing in and around Seattle.  Most architects and designers are painfully aware that the typical townhouse model isn’t working.  Part of the solution, as we see it, is getting extraordinary projects on the radar of the general public and raising the standards of low-rise, multi-family housing.  Let us know if our list is missing anything…

The Fremont Lofts by Johnston Architects in Seattle, WA

[photo courtesy of Johnston Architects)

The Boulders at Green Lake by Johnston Architects in Seattle, WA

[photo courtesy of Johnston Architects)

Nicholas Court Townhouse by Walker Architecture/Gordon Walker + Colin Walker in Seattle, WA

[photo by Gary Sutto)

Urbansight 19 by b9 Architects in Seattle, WA

[photo courtesy of b9 Architects)

14th Ave Homes by PB Elemental in Seattle, WA

[photo courtesy of PB Elemental]

Park Modern by BUILD LLC in Seattle, WA

[photo by Art Grice]

1310 Condominiums by Brett Crawford in Portland Oregon

[photos courtesy of]

Viewpoint Rowhomes by Opsis Architecture in Portland, OR

[photos courtesy of Opsis Architecture]

Belmont Street Lofts by Holst Architecture in Portland, OR

[photos courtesy of Holst Architecture]

1234 Howard Street by Stanley Saitowitz|Natoma Architects Inc. in San Francisco, CA

[photos courtesy of Saitowitz|Natoma Architects Inc.]

Habitat 825 by LoHa in West Hollywood, CA

[photo courtesy of LoHa]

Essex Lofts by Ted Smith & Lloyd Russell in San Diego, CA

[photo by Jimmy Fluker]

Lind by Ted Smith in San Diego, CA

[photo by Joseph Valerio]

Merimac by Ted Smith & Lloyd Russell in San Diego, CA

[photo by Todd Hido]

The Shade House Condos by Matt & Tina Ford in Houston, TX

[photo by Jack Thompson]

Art House Townhouses by Studio Completiva in Denver, CO

[photo courtesy of]

2154/2157 West Division by Studio Dwell Architects in Chicago, IL

[photos courtesy of Ranquist Development]

Eflats by Onion Flats in Philadelphia

[photo courtesy of Onion Flats]

Models for Low-Rise Multi-Family Housing: Europe

Not too long ago we threw a few tomatoes at the townhouse model that has proliferated in the northwest.  It felt good to get a few things off our chest, and after any good rant we felt compelled to get back in the game, scratch our heads a bit and figure out how to get the ship back on course.  As a first step we’re assembling a list of good examples for low-rise multi-family housing projects.  Our buddy Mike, BUILDblog fan and frequent commenter, took the ball and ran with it – he came up with today’s roster which covers some great examples of low-rise, multi-family housing in Europe.  Thanks for the hard work Mike.  We’ll follow up in a few days with a U.S. version that brings it all back home.

Carabanchel Housing by FOA in Madrid, Spain

[photo by Francisco Andeyro Garcia & Alehjandro Garcia Gonazalez, Sergio Padura]

Koenigsweg Atelierhaus by Becher Rottkamp in Berlin

[photo courtesy of Becher Rottkamp]

Lansdowne Apartments by John Pawson in the United Kingdom

[photo courtesy of John Pawson]

Neudorfstraße Oelzbuendt Dornbirn by Hermann Kaufmann in Germany

[photo courtesy of Hermann Kaufmann]

Ölzbündt Dornbirn by Hermann Kaufmann in Germany

[photo courtesy of Hermann Kaufmann]

Peabody Housing by Niall Mclaughlin in London

[photo courtesy of Niall Mclaughlin]

Schots 1&2, by s333 in Groningen, Netherlands

[photo courtesy of S333]

Seewurfel Residential Complex by Camenzind Evolution in Switzerland

[photo courtesy of Camenzind Evolution]

Temistocles 12 by JSa in Polanco, Spain

[photo by Paul Rivera & Mariana Ugalde]

Tietgen Kollegiet by Lundgaard and Tranberg in Denmark

[photo courtesy of]

VM House by BIG in Copenhagen

[photo courtesy of BIG)

Wohnhaus Kaiserstrasse by Gerner Gerner Plus

[photo by Manfred Seidel)

Wimbergergasse Town Houses by Delugan & Meissl

[photo courtesy of Delugan & Meissl)

Wohnanlage Muehlweg by Hermann Kaufman

[photo courtesy of Hermann Kaufmann)

Lohbach by Baumshlager & Eberle in  Innsbruck, Austria

[photo courtesy of