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Canal Street, Seattle, an urban infill building by Heliotrope Architects

The Canal Street project takes an arrow,commercially-zoned,urban-infill lot with a small, rundown 1950s-era house and transforms it into a new, forward-thinking, 5,233 square foot, commercial office building for Turnstyle (a graphic design firm) and Stoke (a branding firm). The 30-foot-wide x 100-foot-deep lot is situated along a shoreline greenbelt across the street from the ship canal in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle.

Designed by Heliotrope Architects

Photographed by Aaron Leitz

The design cleverly navigates the land use code to maximize the overall building size by squeezing four floor levels onto a site that, technically, only allows two. This was achieved by taking advantage of a ten floor ground elevation change from the front of the building to the rear alley, allowing the architect to designate the first floor a "basement," and put the two main floors above. On top of those is a code-allowed "mezzanine," resulting in four floors total.