Whoever said necessity is the mother of invention was probably an architect. Good design is about being creative within constraints and turning limitations into innovations. And the Pivot Apartments offered plenty of challenges to inspire us.
First was the site. Tucked next to the freeway straddling downtown and the Capitol Hill neighborhood, it was a small, irregular-shaped lot that needed to fit 71 residential units, 4,500 square feet of retail space, and a 30-key hotel. The building also had to harmonize with its neighbors yet stand out, offer spectacular views and amenities, and bridge Seattle’s business core with Capitol Hill’s historically funky vibes. Challenge accepted!
Our solution was a seven-sided design that literally splits the difference—we took our massing envelope and “pivoted” the residential floors to align with the Capitol Hill grid. Now the base can echo the history of this section of the neighborhood—known as “auto-row” for its distinctive low-rise brick buildings originally housing car dealerships—while the tower delivers the views clad in a striking palette of white, chocolate brown, and red accents. The result is a unique development that turns limits into opportunities while respecting the past, defining the present, and looking to the future.