Architect shares more details about Wallingford mixed-use building

Crews from general contractor Garuda Construction are busy at work on a uniquely stepped mixed-use project set to open in the fourth quarter of 2023 at 3860 Bridge Way. N. in Wallingford.

Designed by KO Architecture for project developer Sunset Hill Design Build, the five-story, 18,573-square-foot building will accommodate 19 apartments and four commercial units, including a cafe.

The DJC first reported on the development last October. Now, the architect is sharing more details about the design of the building which is sited on a prominent 4,784-square-foot triangular corner that slopes 14 feet down to the southeast. Given the shape of the site you might expect to see a triangular building rise there. KO Architecture has however taken a different approach as a triangular building would have resulted in what the firm calls “a mishmash of largely unusable and undesirable spaces.”

To avoid this, the structure is instead organized through a series of orthogonal rectangular volumes set across the site. There are three of these volumes in a row at the top and highest point of the site, two in the middle tier, and one at the bottom and lowest portion of the site. The result is a uniquely stepped building that maximizes the number of units with views of the city, the Cascades, and Mount Rainier and avoids the project becoming just another boxy, cookie-cutter, mixed-use building. The development will also have a rooftop deck that tops two of the three levels, providing ample amenity space and dramatic views of the city.

The building is intentionally designed to look different depending on where you approach, with facades influenced by the immediate context of the streetscape. Portions which the architect calls the “view sides,” located along Albion Place North, are defined by floor-to-ceiling glass. Sections facing a busy arterial on Bridge Way North on the other hand are instead characterized by a relatively solid facade. Glazing on those portions are for the most part limited to clerestory windows for added privacy and are arranged in a raking pattern as a visual reference to the passage of speeding cars.

The contrast between the two principal facades is further enhanced through the use of materials. The view sides are wrapped with white SwissPearl panels, while the arterial side features dark, metal paneling. Street-level niches, which correspond to the stepping of the building, animate the pedestrian experience. Clad in mirrors and bright colors, they are designed to provide a visual treat and a reason to slow down and enjoy the city.

The project broke ground in late 2020. The project team also includes Swenson Say Faget, structural engineering; Davido Consulting Group, civil engineering; Root of Design, landscape design; and Pan Geo, geotechnical engineering.

Bridge Way Apartments


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