But I’m Bluer Than Blue

Sadder than sad
You’re the only light
This empty room has ever had
Life without you is gonna be
Bluer than blue*

For me, all that deep, pure blue with the crisp white trim brings back fond memories of childhood sports team uniforms.  How do you admire Fifteen Twenty One?  Because, as the web site proclaims, “It’s telling that a community designed exclusively for the confident few would be admired by so many.”

Looks may be deceiving, but the photo above makes me think “see-through office.”  Back in pre-bust days Opus presold 138 of the 143 units, but I doubt anyone would be surprised to see more buyers backing out.

The city is a place of acute contrasts, both in time and space. Walk south on 2nd Ave from the Fifteen Twenty One entrance, and the next building you pass houses the Seattle and King County Needle Exchange Program.

*Lyrics to Bluer Than Blue by Michael Johnson

29 Responses to “But I’m Bluer Than Blue”

  1. David in Burien

    Oh I’m sorry, I seem to have found the wrong place…

  2. Matt the Engineer

    I like it. You’ll notice a large number of green or blue tinted glass in buildings these days – or at least in energy efficient buildings. Spectrally selective glass that allows more visible light with less UV light is generally blue or green. This minimizes solar loads (and therefore air conditioning) while letting in a maximum amount of visible light, which can be used along with daylight dimming light fixtures to reduce light energy when the sun is out.

  3. Michael

    There are plenty of glass ‘tints’ that have reflective coatings that are not so ‘in your face’ blue or green. For instance, any of PPG’s Solarban Line and their competitors equivalents. The WaMu Center has a much more subtle color to it, and I’d bet it has a Solar heat gain coefficient equal to or greater than 1521’s blue crap. I would say the reality is that this ultra saturated blue glass on 1521 is cheaper than the Solarban family and/or the designers made a bad decision as this article suggests. It looks very unsophisticated.

  4. Keo

    I happen to like colors…

  5. Michael

    I should have said I bet Wamu’s (the one adjacent tio SAM) glass has Solar Heat Gain coefficient less than or equal to 1521’s. The lower the SHGC the more heat is blocked or reflected.

    Wow, you can’t get much more serious than this line of comments!

  6. Matt the Engineer

    Solarban 90 performs better than Solarban 60, and is darker. I have no idea what product they used here.

  7. dan bertolet

    The should have used Sage glass:

    http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/009489.html

    Blocks solar heat gain in summer, and allows solar heat gain in winter.

  8. Matt the Engineer

    [Dan] Careful with those. First, by simply tinting instead of reflecting you’re heating up one surface of the glass. This ends up radiating heat into the space. Second, lighting uses more energy than air conditioning in most buildings, so designing in daylight dimming fixtures and letting visible light in could save much more energy than blocking visible light.

    I just checked out the website for this building, hoping for glazing info. (sigh) “designing for LEED Silver” is listed just over “telescoping window washing arm” as a feature, and well under “floor to ceiling window wall” in the Architecture section.

  9. holz

    you know the affect when you hold a pyrex dildo up to the sky?

    really awful. i’m all for color as well, but this looks like something you’d find in miami.

  10. densityISaGOODthing

    Changing the name from HUGEASSCITY to Seattle Planning Blog? PLEASE, Dan. You are joking, right? You must be smoking the same thing Holz is, he is babbling about pyrex dildos in the sky and miami. Has the world gone mad or have they suddenly flooded the Seattle streets with bad crack? Please wake me up from this bad dream.

  11. Beal

    This building is hideous. HIDEOUS! I hate the blue. I hate the white. I hate shape. Ugh.
    Please someone quickly build some hugeass buildings around it so I don’t have to see it anymore.

  12. AJ

    1521, I’d like you better if you were offices.

  13. dan cortland

    Opus and Blaine Weber have graced our city with the biggest cribbage board west of the Mississippi and you’re ungrateful? You all have an attitude problem. Do
    you have any idea how much time it took to draw all those tiny white window frames on the plans?

    You might have a point about the color. Olive 8 will look bad, too, until they take it out of its blue plastic package.

  14. Rob A

    Another great addition to the Seattle skyline. Anything that is not gray or beige works for me. Very airy and nice.

  15. Sabina Pade

    I think 1521 sets a welcome precedent in offering generously-dimensioned floor plans with multiple bedrooms in the heart of downtown. For those that can afford the ft2 price and prefer having a bit of elbow room, it’s good that they mustn’t necessarily look to the suburbs.

    As for the elevations, I agree that 1521 looks more like an office tower than it does a residential one. A thoughtfully designed tower, though, graceful and airy. And the blue glazing? One can like or dislike 1521’s colours; personally, I like them. There’s little contesting, though, that most people living behind walls of glass would feel uncomfortably exposed to both the glare of the sky and the gaze of onlookers if the glass were left untinted.

    By the standards of present-day skyscrapers, 1521 is no eyesore. What saddens is the needle exchange next door to it : a living indictment of our collective failure to discourage self-destructive behaviour. If a city is indeed first and foremost about its populace, finding the means to help people avoid falling prey to drug addiction would be very good urbanism.

  16. holz

    1521 looks awful in comparison to present-day skyscrapers going up these days, sabrina. it looks really dated and cheap. there is nothing thoughtful or graceful about it.

    is this really another blaine weber abortion? explains alot…

    his bio is priceless:

    “…He has received extensive continuing education at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.”

    sooo, he was asked to leave harvard once they actually saw his work?

    and the facebook photo is great – check out my trophy wife and sweet 911!
    http://www.facebook.com/people/Blaine-Weber/658934987

    epic. fail.

  17. 1521 Homeowner

    Holz. Holz. Holz. It’s fine to criticize a project, but what’s with the childish personal attacks? Not cool, dude. Forgive the psychoanalysis here, but you might want to discuss your anger issues with a professional…we don’t want you going postal on us:).

  18. Justin Bowers

    I went and visited 2 units we have on the market this Sunday, and brought 2 friends with me–a cutie from Renton, and my BFF from San Francisco. Granted, I’m easily impressed, and we already impressed the cutie from Renton. My BFF from SF couldn’t help but to pull out his iPhone in unit 2400 and start taking pics to show friends when he gets home. He kept bugging me about getting teriyaki on the corner of 2nd and Pike, but insisted I take them up the high-speed elevator 1st. It wasn’t until we got into the unit before I got what I was looking for, and that was a gasp followed up by a wow. The only thing he complained about was the door handles.

    Honestly, I was a little put out by 1521 to begin with. They wouldn’t let me take pictures, but whatever. I finally got to go up and try to imagine where I would put my turntables and stripper pole. If only I had started my music career (hobby) 15 years earlier. Not to mention the price of lasers has gone down quite a bit (thanks for the suggestion Fox).

  19. Shawn Wolfe

    But look on the bright side; I won’t have to miss no TV shows. I can start my whole life over. Change the numbers on my telephone. Etc. Etc. Etc.

  20. KALONICE

    Thanks. very helpful article ! Great story !

  21. Gregory Dolson

    the awesome precisely what bath and decorative mirrors can do in your powder room shaving.

  22. Mark

    Interesting stuff to be sure and given that at least 50% of buyers here in San Diego are backing out of deals, I’d expect them to have at least that many doing the same.

    Good looking building though, I wonder if they spend the money to get it LEED certified.

  23. Nichol Peitz

    I know some people who will enjoy reading this I will forward this post on to my friends. thank you for taking the time for posting this and I hope to read more of your postings later.

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