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Mambo Palazzo

Seattle Modern Urban Apartment Design

1336 SF

Developing an urban site with an existing 1910 mixed-use structure to accommodate two apartments and two commercial spaces, without adding parking, was no easy task. We designed our new office in the side-yard adjacent to our previous space --- a 1910 building now housing a coffee shop and apartment  -–  with a tight budget and a very particular client and contractor: us. We wanted light, openness, a functional and delightful workplace, an environmentally-conscious building with presence, and an apartment above providing density and appealing to local urbanites. 


The structure consists of a simple CMU box held back from the street and punctured by a huge wood-framed copper-clad bay window.  The street-front courtyard leads to a south wall of doors providing light, air and entry, and creating a permeable edge that disappears on days when the doors are open. Concrete and plywood floors define spaces for desks and shared library/equipment areas and demarcate basement storage below. Glu-lam beams emphasize the clear span of the room and skylights create abundant natural light, drastically reducing the need for electric lights during the day. CMU walls are exposed at the rear, emphasizing the division between work and conference spaces.

Upstairs, a two-story apartment has a wall of non-planar windows, allowing for southern light and a connection to the courtyard/street/café activity below. The supporting bay window is wrapped in rectilinear copper shingles, creating a play of shadow, pattern and texture for both apartment dwellers and passersby. Above is a roof-top deck. The corner building has been renovated to accentuate its age, complement the new building and provide the community with a place to gather and get caffeinated.  



Completed: 2005

Awards and Recognition: 

Residential Architect, "Close Calls: Side by Side", January/February, 2007

2009 Futureshack Award

Northwest Architect, "Mambo Palazzo works a little magic on Queen Anne", March, 2009

AIA Seattle Forum, "New Frontiers within the Single Family Lot", Spring, 2009

Seattle Times (Pacific Northwest), "Designs on Future", September, 2009

Category: Modern Urban Apartment Design Seattle, WA