BE Studio Reimagines Industrial Lands

Student rendering, Interbay area

Historically, Seattle has protected industrial lands from other forms of development seeking to preserve well-paying blue collar jobs. The combination of the housing crisis and expanded light rail development through industrial areas has brought attention to the need to reconsider zoning practices.  

During the Autumn 2019 quarter, an interdisciplinary group of Built Environments students participated in a studio boldly envisioning transit oriented development and the future use of Seattle’s industrial lands. Co-taught by Associate Professor Rick Mohler (Architecture) and Affiliate Instructor David Blum (Urban Design and Planning), the studio considered the creation of a new neighborhood  in the Interbay area, northwest of downtown and connected via future light rail stations. Students worked in groups to imagine and develop visions for this new neighborhood, with proposals ranging from the restoration of tidal plains to the creation of hybrid land-use mixing residential and industrial building types. This studio challenged students to work together to imagine innovative and feasible concepts for Seattle’s future neighborhoods. 

Student renderings

The final review of the studio was attended by a range of prominent Seattle officials including former Governor Gary Locke, State Representative Gael Tarleton, and Seattle Office of Community Development’s Sam Assefa, who all responded enthusiastically to the students’ ideas. The work of the studio has gained media attention through the reporting of KUOW and The Urbanist.

Check out the studio’s research, designs, and proposals in PDF format here.

(Note: the file may take a few minutes to download depending on your connection.)

Student rendering and concept model