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PNW Explained

Why Do so Many New Apartment Buildings in Seattle Look the Same?

We asked local architect Rick Mohler to deconstruct Seattle’s new apartment buildings.

August 15, 2018

As Seattle continues to boom, so does the market for apartment buildings. From Ballard to Beacon Hill, towering cranes presage the arrival of mid-rise apartment buildings, soon followed by new neighbors. Curbed Seattle recently reported that in 2017 alone, the city added 7,500 new residential units. And often the buildings that have housed those units are strikingly — and, for some, depressingly — similar. You know the look: towers clad in candy-colored paneling. Love them or hate them, the look and feel of these structures goes way beyond the facade. We asked local architect Rick Mohler to deconstruct Seattle’s new apartment buildings.      



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Eric Keto

From the Oregon Coast to the North Slope of Alaska, Eric enjoys telling stories from the western edge of the country. His nonfiction video work has been featured on The Atlantic, PBS NewsHour and Alaska Public Media.

More stories by Eric Keto

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