Photo: LMN

The Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences (SAAS) is getting a new home in Capitol Hill. Fans of the classic children’s book, Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar, will be delighted to learn that the new Cardinal Union building will be Seattle’s first vertically-oriented middle school once completed in 2018, reports BD+C.

The 74,289 square foot Cardinal Union building will feature five stories, each occupied by a different grade à la Wayside. The school was designed by LMN Architects with sustainability in mind. The building is designed to optimize daylight, solar exposure and natural ventilation. The natural ventilation is projected to result in a 45 percent reduction in annual carbon emissions when compared to similar buildings. The roof of the main building will include solar panels and a future-compatible rainwater collection system. Students and faculty can access data on solar production, building performance and water conservation using a web-based dashboard.

The new middle school will also feature a learning commons, makerspace, instrumental music classrooms, second gym and a rooftop playfield. The building may not have 30 stories like Wayside, but the façade should be a beautiful addition to the neighborhood. LMN describes the exterior like so:

“The building will be clad in a mix of grey- and cream-colored bricks, which will fade from dark to light vertically along the façade. Bricks will wrap the building and transition to expanses of glass at the community learning spaces revealing the student activity within. Exterior red metal sunshades will provide colorful relief against the brick backdrop. Inside, the community learning spaces are tied together by a ribbon of faceted panels on feature walls and ceilings of each space as they weave through the building, providing visual continuity from the upper floors, through the building, and out into the neighborhood.”

The project cost a cool $48 million and will be completed in fall of 2018. Hold onto your hats Capitol Hill! The southwest corner of 13th Avenue and East Union St. will soon be swarming with awkward tweens!


Photo: LMN


Photo: LMN


Photo: LMN

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