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Entrant Name
Graham Baba Architects

Design Team
Jim Graham Brett Baba Leann Crist Lauren Strang

Collaborators
Contractor: Schuchart Structural: M. A. Wright Acoustical Consultant: Sparling Building Envelope: JRS Engineering Lighting: Lighting Design Inc. Geotechnical Engineer: PanGEO Inc.

Owner / Client
Glen and Alison Milliman MadArt

325 Westlake

All Submissions > Scale 2: Building Scale

Living with Art. 325 Westlake is an art-driven project in the rapidly developing South Lake Union neighborhood that honors the historic character and scale of the surrounding neighborhood and welcomes that which is new.

The building is composed of two major pieces:
[1] existing 1920s heavy-timber & masonry building which contains art studio & gallery spaces and
[2] steel & concrete addition above providing living spaces.

The impetus for the development was to offer a home for MadArt, an art initiative focused on connecting emerging artists with the community in unexpected ways. 325 injects an innovative new life into a nearly century-old building. The Westlake Avenue façade reveals the MadArt mission by featuring the process of creating art with full-height operable glazing, encouraging interaction between artists and pedestrians, and allowing passers-by to step into the space and experience the art-making process. New awnings provide protection encouraging people to linger. The existing masonry and wood structure addresses its future life with seismic upgrades including steel moment frames, new roof, and upgraded systems. A new mezzanine is bathed in daylight by a large skylight, providing an office space for MadArt.

The western half of the original character structure had be grossly modified in the 1980’s and provided the opportunity to start fresh. Here, the new steel and concrete residential tower rises to the code allowed building height with 12 apartment units, taking advantage of the zero lot-line development potential of the site. The loft-height units are designed as efficient open living areas with floor-to-ceiling glazing and sleeping mezzanines. Structure is exposed providing detail and texture. Outdoor living at each unit and a common roof deck provide unique exterior views and neighborhood connection.

The past is expressed through reuse of existing materials in the entry sequence and residential areas, creating opportunities for residents to experience the building’s past while interacting with the ongoing creation of art. The art initiative is supported by the rental income from the apartments, and the art studio and gallery enrich the daily experience of both the residents and the community. This project knits together the duality of old and the new through honoring the past while welcoming the future on this site and in the greater neighborhood.