Architecture Photo of Mason & Main

Architecture Photo of Mason & Main

Architecture Photo of Mason & Main

Architecture Photo of Mason & Main

Architecture Photo of Mason & Main

Architecture Photo of Mason & Main

Mason & Main

Center of Attention

Occupying the site of America's first city-funded housing project in Seattle's Yesler Terrace neighborhood, Mason & Main embraces the context of its location as an inclusive gathering place for people of all backgrounds while transforming its surroundings into a destination that pedestrians and residents alike are drawn to. As a bifurcated mass, Mason & Main offers two destinations to explore and enjoy. The structures are split by a shared courtyard that allows residents to enjoy fresh air and the greenery of a community garden. A mural painted by a local Seattle artist sits above the courtyard, depicting clusters of colorful birdhouses and emphasizing the sense of community shared by residents of the two buildings. A pocket park adjacent to the site adds an open green space to the zig-zag public hill climb assist that guides pedestrians from the apartment complex to the transit station at the top of the hill. Being connected to Seattle's public transit system means that residents of Mason & Main can easily access the rest of the city by bus or light rail. Yet even with the gateway to Seattle in it backyard, Mason & Main's thoughtful design makes it the center of attention for Little Saigon.

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Seattle, Washington
  • LEED Gold
  • 549
  • 9 stories
  • 669,816 sq. ft.
  • Completed in 2022
PROJECT CONTACT

Architecture: David Kelley


Architecture Story

Sister Sites

Closely tied through their experiences and material palettes, Mason and Main share functions, aesthetics, and amenities. Though both building masses look and feel related, they each respond to different unique characteristics of their site and neighborhood. Addressing their urban surroundings, each building leverages well-designed exterior spaces to differentiate and elevate the pedestrian experience along each structure. Mason, the building to the east, responds to the urban edge of the site with pedestrian-scaled canopy-covered retail storefronts and a main entry lobby. The south side of Mason is much quieter, transitioning to residential stoops guarded by low privacy rails, steps, and landscaping, providing a nice buffer between the exterior sidewalk and indoor apartments. The westward building, Main, on the other hand, is a truly residential building. It has a smaller lobby but continues the exterior stoop language on its north and south sides, wrapping around to face the urban pocket park on the sunny west end. Both buildings have a variety of outdoor spaces that serve as both pathways through the site and as exterior amenities. On the quieter residential portions of the site, the massing is set back to give the impression of a three- or four-story building, which is much more comfortable for a residential pedestrian scale. The lower levels are largely clad in brick, shifting between horizontal coursing for Mason and vertical for Main, adding a visual draw for passing pedestrians. At the upper levels of the two structures, offset massing allows for a variety of rooftop decks and sunny courtyards, giving residents an array of locations for outdoor gatherings and different activities, accessible day or night. There is space for gardening, sunbathing, eating, drinking, playing games, and BBQ-ing. Covered areas provide shade and rain protection, while thoughtful lighting and a mural painted by a local Seattle artist enliven the decks, providing a beautiful backdrop for residents to take in. Sweeping views of the city exhibit Mount Rainier, downtown Seattle, and Elliot Bay, adding to the spectacle. Embracing Seattle's ethos of environmental stewardship, Mason and Main each have earned LEED Gold certification. Their celebrated, comprehensive rooftop storm water retention system consists of ten-foot mounds of dirt, sedum, succulents, and wild grasses. The PV solar array atop Mason's roof is an additional visual indicator of the project's commitment to reducing its environmental footprint and being a good neighbor within the busy Yesler neighborhood.

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