Photo of The Standard at Seattle
Photo of The Standard at Seattle
Photo of The Standard at Seattle
Photo of The Standard at Seattle
Photo of The Standard at Seattle
Photo of The Standard at Seattle

The Standard at Seattle

Student Housing that Fosters Local Community

Relative to the size of its student body, Seattle’s University of Washington didn’t have enough high-quality student housing. To help the university keep up with its predicted growth, Landmark—the largest student housing developer in the country—contacted Ankrom Moisan to create The Standard, their biggest project to date. Impressively scaled and prominently situated on the hill in Seattle’s University District, The Standard comprises two towers and one mid-rise immediately adjacent to UW's campus. A permeable, pedestrian-friendly street level connects the public, many of whom are using the nearby new light-rail station, with The Standard’s 1500 student residents. Inside and out, living at The Standard means studying, connecting with one another and cultivating a healthy work/life balance in state-of-the-art housing that feels every bit as inviting as it looks.

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Seattle, Washington
COMPLETED IN 2023
  • 402 Units, 1455 Beds
  • 25 stories
  • 612,844 sq. ft.
MARKET

Higher Education

DISCIPLINES

Architecture , Interiors

PROJECT TYPE

Student Housing

PROJECT CONTACT

Architecture: Mack Selberg

Interiors: Christina Witteman

highered@ankrommoisan.com


Architecture Story

Welcome to the University District

The overall scale of The Standard represents a sea change for the University District. Because the two towers are the only high rises on the hill, the two towers can be seen from all over Seattle. And yet up close, at the human scale, The Standard is approachable: Our design team created the trio of buildings to welcome everyone, students and non-students alike. This goes beyond our material choices and massing. Since The Standard’s site includes an alleyway, a historic building, and a nearby light-rail station—different architectural expressions that serve different needs—we’ve connected the three buildings to its neighborhood via a pedestrian throughway. Its meandering gold wall is like a yellow brick road, drawing people in through the center of the block by concentrating retail and building entry points in this core area. We’ve further enhanced this street life with landscaping, benches, lighting, and overlooking unit balconies. The more people and light we bring into these spaces and the buildings’ edges, the more vibrant (and safe) it feels, especially at night. And it’s a fun, bright place to hang out when Seattle’s weather turns beautiful. The Standard’s neighborhood is characterized by an eclectic style and an abundance of art, freeing up a broad design language for us. On the high-rise towers, the tones of dark blue panels shift throughout the day as sunlight strikes it at different angles. From one tower to the other, we’ve created a visual conversation: the unique blue interior walls in the space between the towers play off of the light-colored materials elsewhere, which represents the pair’s shared “skin.” Seemingly caught between the two, the hybrid CLT (cross-laminated timber) midrise beckons pedestrians with a warm, exposed-wood “jewel” accent piece, the visual heart of the project that references the natural materials of the Pacific Northwest. This gesture, along with a mural on one side, exterior brick, stone along the sidewalk edges, and podium heights that align with surrounding buildings, helps the midrise building echo its surrounding architecture and subtly tie itself to The Standard’s neighborhood. In the mid-rise, Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) construction will allow us to achieve higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible, with greater efficiency, durability, and beauty – three key reasons why we champion mass timber. Using mass timber from the Pacific Northwest also reduces the building’s carbon footprint. Wood on the exterior also serves as a beacon for people arriving from the neighboring train station. Since exposed mass timber is uncommon in Seattle student housing, we were excited to have the perfect opportunity to use this functional and stylish material at The Standard. This gesture, along with a mural on one side, exterior brick, stone along the sidewalk edges, and podium heights that align with surrounding buildings, helps the mid-rise building echo its surrounding architecture and subtly tie The Standard to the UDistrict. Ultimately, The Standard serves as an extraverted, welcoming expression of what’s possible with dense student housing in the heart of a city—and what we’re able to do by combining our student housing and regional experience with the resources and vision of the country’s largest student housing developer.

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Interior Story

Amenity-Rich Studying

To serve UW’s multicultural student body, many of whom might graduate to work in Seattle’s tech industry, we established an interior expression for The Standard that’s contemporary without being pretentious: elevated, warm, calming, inviting—even playful. Drawing from our experience in hospitality, The Standard’s shared spaces—rooftop swimming pool, hot tub, sauna/steam room, and rock-climbing wall—take advantage of the site’s sweeping views (and, it must be said, Landmark’s high aesthetic standards and penchant for stunning amenities). Yet The Standard is designed for academic pursuits, and these drove our amenities. With a variety of study places to choose from, student residents can focus any time and day of the week, 24/7, without leaving their building or worrying about losing Wi-Fi connectivity. These offerings cater towards providing residents as much choice as possible without having to travel far, a feature that our student housing experts know today’s young people desire. Our approach to each of The Standard’s 1500 units was heavily influenced by efficient layouts and informed by our deep experience in student housing. To reflect the needs of the generation who will actually live at The Standard, our selection of premium appliances and finishes, not only beautiful but long-lasting, help reimagine students’ expectations for on-campus student housing. The largest units even have a pool table to complement the views of Seattle’s cityscape. Aesthetically, vibrant colors and patterns spark a sense of liveliness; natural textural elements evocative of the Pacific Northwest’s marine ecosystems, lush forests, and mountain ranges, like stone and exposed timber, are dynamically juxtaposed with more polished, refined materials. This regionally influenced design palette keeps The Standard firmly grounded in its geographic place while creating an environment that welcomes residents to their temporary homes away from home. Despite The Standard’s physical presence as the biggest student housing project in Seattle’s University District to date, our partnership with Landmark felt personal. By sharing our cultural, demographic, and regional knowledge, we helped our client make competitive design decisions. We’re proud to have created The Standard.

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