Located in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, this 164-unit multi-family project was inspired by Scandinavian culture, design, and Ballard’s Scandinavian roots. In fact, the project was named after one of the former property owners, the family of Bjorn Leo Valdok, who immigrated from Norway in 1959. Along with the new National Nordic Museum, Bergen Place Park, and the 17th of May Festival for Norway’s Constitution Day, the project reaffirms the legacy of Scandinavian immigrants in the area.
The sister building of Valdok –which is located directly across NW 56th Street and was completed in the fall of 2018– the two buildings form a gasket shape on the block with prominent corners an almost courtyard-like effect mid-block. Focus was given to enhancing the pedestrian experience by establishing human-scale elements, interest, and activity along the street frontage. The vertical recesses in the façade and slender windows reduced the bulk of the building responded to the architectural cues from Valdok and the surrounding neighborhood. The project features a mews to the North, effectively buffering the neighboring houses and apartment buildings to the rear while providing improved circulation and access to the live/work units.
The Architecture and Interior Design teams helped to define the amenity spaces, unit types, and sizes. The neighborhood’s Scandinavian heritage influenced the selection of “hygge” as a starting point for the interiors. Hygge is defined as a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment and well-being. Since residents have access to both buildings’ amenity spaces, it was possible to shift programming between buildings to increase unit yield and provide an even greater diversity of amenity spaces for residents. As such, the interior spaces are designed to contrast each other with Valdok II representing the darker, sexier side of Scandinavian design, with charred woods, rich dark fabrics, and bold contrasts.
Valdok II’s top floor amenity space is oriented towards the south to take advantage of solar exposure and views to Valdok I and Seattle beyond. The roof deck includes several communal seating areas, a dog run, fire pit, and large outdoor cooking and barbecue space with raised plant beds for residents to grow their produce.