Seattle, WA
Completed 2009

Who says mixed-use buildings must be boxes, bereft of creativity?

At the heart of an urban zone, Sweetbrier perfectly suits its environment with a community-inspired blend of brick facades and column bases of the neighborhood’s early-1900s style with metal paneling, aluminum windows, glass tile, and sleek interiors for today’s modern tenants. The rounded corner and mid-block “arch” tie street-level retail into the upper-floor residential façade and create a community icon. Light-filled, space-efficient units appear larger than their square footage thanks to decks, balconies, and bay windows, while a second-floor courtyard, formed by the building’s U-shape, maximizes sunlight for private decks and community tenant use.

The project showcases the firm’s ability to work creatively amidst cost controls. When metal costs skyrocketed, they turned from metal to panelized wood framing. When a mid-construction shift in the residential market led to a desire for smaller living spaces, they reworked the floorplans to squeeze 45 spacious-feeling units out of the original 39. The program was a continual balancing of fiscal responsibility, community input, and client needs, and the beauty and popularity of the results are proof of the firm’s success.


  • 45 apartment units
  • Ground-floor retail
  • Single-level underground parking
  • Designed for LEED certification

81,000 SF
CLIENT – Emerald Bay Equity
ARCHITECT – Tiscareno Associates