Akari House

Akari House is an 17-story Type IV-B high-rise, mass timber apartment building located on a small triangular First Hill site at 1422 Seneca Street, Seattle. The proposed 17 story boutique building will have 112 residential rental units plus luxury market leading 1 and 2 bedroom townhomes, enjoying 20 foot floor to ceiling windows, along with ground floor, upper floor, and roof top amenity spaces. No parking or retail is included in this project. The building is sited to support existing mass transit, reinforce neighborhood public spaces with the redevelopment of the large sidewalk directly East of the site, and respect the nearby Seattle First Baptist Church.

Pryde Development has been a veteran in advancing sustainable and environmentally sound building approaches. Pryde is terming up with Clark Barnes who is designing numerous mass timber buildings. The primary reason why mass timber was selected for AKARI House is the fact that it is more cost efficient in comparison to Type IV-B construction. Other benefits include its inherent beauty, structural simplicity, and renewable nature. Additionally, AKARI House presented an opportunity to expand the possibilities of mass timber for use in a high-rise structure.

A huge benefit of mass timber is that it allows for a light, tall structure in a high seismic zone to be installed quicker than a conventional steel or concrete structure, which is of particular importance within a dense, busy urban neighborhood. When used for multi-family housing, such as at AKARI House, it results in housing units entering the market faster. This is both a benefit for the developer and the community at large. Seattle, like many metropolitan regions across the country, is in a housing crisis with not enough dwelling units available for its residents. Contributing to the housing stock within the neighborhood and city will not only help address this crisis, but by its use of mass timber will contribute to the improvement of forest health. This symbiosis is a win-win for both the urban economy and environment as well as the regional forested lands.

Like a tall conifer tree, AKARI house rises above its surrounding urbanity. The building footprint follows the geometry of the small site, which when extruded upward 17 stories, casts a thin, vertical silhouette, resonating with the neighboring Seattle First Baptist Church’s slender spire. Dark metal and fiber cement cladding creates a bark-like skin, which with the large vertical windows, accentuates the upward focus. Glimpses of the mass timber structure visible through windows will remind the passerby of the forests from which the structure came and what once existed on First Hill.

Wood is the original building material of the Puget Sound and is being rediscovered today because of its appealing texture, flowing grain and natural aroma that tickle the senses. Also, the natural sound-absorbing and heat-insulating helps regulate humidity. Wood is also great for human health. Studies prove that the human heart rate lowers quicker, stress levels lower and circulation is less burdened.

The project team received the 2021 United States Forest Service Wood Innovations Grant for the AKARI House. The Grant offers the opportunity to explore and report back on the challenges and lessons learned from the unique construction and permit processes associated with designing, permitting, and building a high-rise mass timber structure.

Due to an unusual street intersection, AKARI House benefits from having a large triangular sidewalk abutting the project, which will be transformed into a public plaza. This public plaza will include trees, lighting, public benches, bike parking, lush plantings, and an area map. The goal being to enhance the pedestrian experience, create connections to the evolving First Hill network of public spaces, and serve as the forecourt to AKARI House.

See website at www.akarihouseseattle.com

• 112 Luxury Boutique Community Incorporating 4 levels of Townhomes
• Studio, Open 1-Bed, 1-Bed, 2-Bed, 1-Bed Loft, 2-Bed Loft
• Eco Friendly Timber Construction and homes made of wood
• Private and Public Outdoor Garden Areas
• Small Footprint in Downtown Seattle
• Privacy, Saftey and quietness with under 6 units per floor