Comic Relief


[  Trader Joe's addition at the corner of 17th and E Olive on Capitol Hill ]

In recognition of the record number of comments provoked by this riff, allow me to present another example of new multifamily housing that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Could all that color be a horribly misguided attempt to respond to criticism of the godawfully monotonous beige tones used on the housing over the Trader Joe’s store (see right side of photo, also here)?

Anybody know who designed this eyesore for Trader Joe’s?  As implausible as it seems, people were actually paid to draw those gables and pick those colors.

26 Responses to “Comic Relief”

  1. Michael

    true, but now they’re probably unemployed.

  2. Keo

    I was thinking for awhile that the post office across the street from Benaroya hall was my least favorite building in Seattle. This one takes the cake.

  3. holz

    this abortion brought to you by the clowns @ ldg architects (apparently also the owner) i didn’t know shoreline community college offered a degree in architecture, but there you go.

  4. spencer

    I am really sorry…but… ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    Keo, the old post office isn’t even in the same school as this class of architecture. It’s much closer in badness to the Web/Thomp building across from Seahawk Stadium.

    But seriously, this building starts out pretty good for the first 1 1/2 stories, then, I’m not sure what happens. I wonder if the concrete will be clad with anything?

  5. holz

    hopefully cow dung. one of the few instances where covering a building in sh*t will be a vast improvement.

  6. joshuadf

    It’s clearly an experiment in whether street presence really makes *all* the difference or not.

    (Also sad… between the two buildings is the “rooftop” community space for the TJs building. I went to a friend’s birthday party there about a year ago, before she moved. The view wasn’t much then, but at least we had the sun.)

  7. Keith

    I live a block from this monstrosity and was just waiting for it to pop up on HAC.

  8. Matt the Engineer

    I had assumed this was photoshopped.

  9. carless in pdx

    I’m not even going to say anything this time. :)

  10. Gary

    And this thing went through Design Review? Why do we even bother with the expense of Design Review when it clearly doesn’t help. I am very pro-density, but I do not want Seattle to continue to be blighted by monstrosities like this one. Does anyone out there know how the zoning code and design review could be modified to prevent this sort of ugliness? What does Portland do?

  11. JoshMahar

    We should start some kind of architect/developer point system list based on their projects. I know public opinion isn’t much but at least its something to throw out there to hopefully prevent people from doing something like this horrendous pile of puke.

  12. Bill Bradburd

    Design Review? What a joke of a process. Apologies to any DRB members out there, but please do your job and hold these lame developers and architects to a higher standard.

    This Nickels era will be be looked back upon as an embarrassing and blight inducing disaster. These cotton candy eyesores will not gracefully age, and the cheapo townhouses will rot in a few decades.

    Thanks fellas.

  13. Seth

    It looks like a Christmas nightmare, but for the whole year.

    So many good elements incorporated, but so poorly assembled. This is what happens when engineers do design.

  14. Gary

    Commentators here seem unified in thinking that this project is an eyesore. I agree. But what can be done to prevent projects like this one? Does anyone out there know how the zoning code and design review could be modified to prevent this sort of ugliness?

  15. Craig

    Spencer Please do you homework before bashing a firm on a building they had nothing to do with across from Seahawk Stadium. Thank you.

  16. Sabina Pade

    Let’s tell Joe we’d like to Trade this one back to him.

  17. holz

    no, bash away on w/t – they are responsible for some really fugly projects.

    the silver cloud inn – stadium, was not them. it was bumgardner.

  18. serial catowner

    Something has gone very very wrong with American architecture. This job would have been improved immensely if no architect had been allowed to get near it. A very clear case of a guild monopoly making the product worse and the price higher.

  19. Sir Learnsalot

    I live right across from this crapfest. Luckly my window looks at the rooftop garden right between the two buildings. If I’m sitting the right way at my desk I can block out both buildings and just look at the Cascades.

  20. carless in pdx

    Unlike downtown, Portland doesn’t run design review on neighborhood infill projects, unless they are in a design overlay or historic district where it would be subjected to the Historic Landmarks Commission.

    And yes, they have teeth.

    Some in city council are pushing for design review of even single-family homes in Portland

  21. carless in pdx

    You know, anyone who had ever taken a color theory class would know this would fail. Red and green? Seriously? wtf

    It would have been better painted beige. Thats truly sad.

  22. dang

    This exemplifies the lack of clout that the DR process has here in Seattle, which is not a knock on the DR board, but on the whole mirage of an “approval” process. There is no real mechanism within the board’s current purview to deny a design this bad, even though it might very well be universally recognized as BAD. Provided the “architects” (used in the loosest sense) work within the land use code, do not seek departures, and develop a logical, reasoned position for how a project meets the objectives of the design guidelines, there is little that the DR board can do without resorting to some level of subjectivity, which is verboten. Board members may be able to slow down the process by requiring follow-up presentations, but ultimately they can not deny a project if it follows the land use code and addresses (however awfully) the design guidelines. Even if a ruling is made against a project, the owner need only appeal it and re-present their rationale to the powers within DPD.

    That said, how do we as a community prevent a disaster like this without developing a ridiculously onerous, Byzantine or repressive approval process that unfairly hinders competent designers and developers, or threatens to squelch creativity altogether?

  23. GW

    This is another one of Edi Linardic’s babies. I actually was on the Area 7 DRB when this one came through EDG (believe it or not, the initial design studies for this were far worse than anything you see here), but was off the board by the time it came back for a recommendation meeting. Linardic’s also responsible for many of the Silver Cloud hotels scattered around Seattle, and the Bellagio Condominiums on Bellevue Ave on north Capitol Hill.

  24. Mike

    This is incredible. This looks like it is in Poland.

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  26. sam_iv

    One thing Portland has done is to hold a competition for sensitive, sustainable in-fill townhome designs. They pick the best two or three, have their planning department improve it under the codes, and then sell the plans to developers. The city then guarantees a certain turn-around time in receiving the permit. Most developers do not care what they build, as long as it is profitable. The shortened and guaranteed permit times greatly reduce costs of construction.

    Its too bad DPD hasn’t had aggressive leadership dealing with townhomes and mid-rise. Sally Clark held some meetings about it a while back, but basically threw up her hands at the end of it. City government is definitely due for some change.

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