5020 California SW: Newest design just posted online


That’s the California-facing view in the newest design proposal for “Spring Hill” (no relation to the restaurant), the project that BlueStar Management (same company behind Fauntleroy Place — aka Whole Foods/Hancock — and Gateway Center, aka ex-Huling Buick showroom) is proposing for 5020 California SW (map). The next public hearing before the Southwest Design Review Board is Thursday night, 6:30 pm, Hiawatha Community Center; the proposal that BlueStar and Hewitt Architects will show that night is now available online, with proposed views from all sides, “shadow studies,” and other information — you can download it from the city website. (WSB coverage of the last SWDRB meeting for this project can be seen here; we have been reporting on this project now for almost a year.)

9 Replies to "5020 California SW: Newest design just posted online"

  • Deeno September 5, 2008 (11:03 pm)

    Reminds me of one of the old tenement buildings back east. I love it when local architects use the retro styles that have been torn down in most other cities.

    Can’t wait for the next project by Blue Star, they are making West Seattle infamous.
    Keep up the good work folks!

  • old timer September 6, 2008 (7:42 am)

    That drawing makes the building look grim and cheerless.
    A place someone might pick to have a preview of mausoleum life.
    Maybe I need more coffee.

  • Meghan September 6, 2008 (8:09 am)

    I’ve worked in urban architecture for years. I now work for an award winning architect who designs commercial building all over the city. And he says that West Seattle has a city-wide reputation for a population that doesn’t understand or appreciate contemporary architecture. And boy, reading this blog, do I believe him! And every time I see a rendering of a proposed building in this blog, I always know there’ll be a flood of criticisms, many of them making really ignorant comparisons and comments. (I’m surprised there are only 2 so far; must still be early). This developer unveils an appropriate, thoughtful, economically viable urban building for this site in West Seattle, and the naysayer/whiners start right in with the criticism. These are the same people who are always fighting and signing petitions to stop development and keep often ugly, mediocre buildings (many of them substandard when they were build on the cheap in the 60’s or 70’s), or even surface parking lots, just so things won’t change. Ugh. Newsflash: West Seattle is going to change! And not every new building or house needs to be cookie-cutter architecture. Let’s support diversity!

  • austin September 6, 2008 (8:45 am)

    Its not the coffee. It looks like something out of midwest suburban office park sprawl, only taller.

  • KSJ September 6, 2008 (9:03 am)

    Hewitt also designed Lumen, the former Tower Records site at Lower Queen Anne. This reminds me a little of that, with the first two levels being all glazing. It doesn’t fit in the neighborhood very well. Too cold and stark.

  • Rick September 6, 2008 (9:34 am)

    No worries. We’re losing the neighborhood for things to fit into. Someday soon this will be the norm and everything will be just fine.

  • Daave Gould September 6, 2008 (11:14 am)

    In the first design meeting the issue was raised as to the blocking of the alleyway by Moving Vans. If I read this design right, they have a courtyard on the alleyway that is fenced and dedicated to the occupants. What happened to providing an area for trucks or visitors? The City Planners need to weigh in on this as they are requiring all traffic from the garage to come out the alleyway. Who is going to see that the courtyard space has designated parking for visitors as well as Moving/Utility vans? Please keep this alley open.

  • WSMom September 6, 2008 (12:23 pm)

    As a neighbor who will walk past this building everyday, I’m not looking forward to the shadow and tunnel effect caused by the enormous footprint of this building.

    I absolutely do not agree with this statement: “This developer unveils an appropriate, thoughtful, economically viable urban building for this site in West Seattle, and the naysayer/whiners start right in with the criticism.” The 6 story high flat front of this building does not appeal to my sense of “home-y-ness” for lack of a better word. I’d like to see an apartment building with an “real” entrance, welcoming doors that make a statement, balconies and interesting French doors to make the California face of this building more hospitable. This design (to me) looks like an office building, very cold glass and metal.

  • Deeno September 7, 2008 (12:01 am)

    Meghan, I’m surprised with your vast award winning architectural experience, that you didn’t know architectural awards are given by other architects!

    Thank you though for straightening us country bumpkins out over here in lil ol West Seattle. I guess we just don’t know how lucky we are to be the recipient of all of these award winning designs.

    From now on, I’ll be sure to think whatever you want me to about any new builidng. Not only will I quietly lay aside my objections to its massive construction, but I promise to love the design as well.

    Once upon a time we were told by architects how beautiful Jefferson Square was going to be. You know, it gets better looking every day.

    Thank you for educating me and others to the beauty of big box housing. Sorry we’re so stupid!

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