Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing 
An intentional, intergenerational urban village developed by its residents


Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing, also known as CHUC, is an innovative 5-story, mixed-use building in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.  Although it may seem like a traditional mixed-used project, the novelty lies in the development process, in which a community of future residents were gathered, and the community building process was started, before a building was even formed.  The upper three stories comprise 9 residences for the families of CHUC, the eponymous cohousing group, in addition to shared amenity and outdoor space. The street-level commercial space is home to our own architecture practice, Schemata Workshop.

With community at the core of design, particular emphasis was placed on human comfort.  Efficient residential units, ranging from 811 to 1,360 SF, allowed for customization to address the varied families comprising CHUC, and special attention was paid to thermal and acoustic comfort in passive, eco-friendly solutions.  The essential "common house" amenity of a cohousing project, which includes laundry facilities, a commercial kitchen and guest quarters,  takes form on the second level of the project adjacent to an outdoor courtyard, painted bright yellow to reflect sunlight into the interiors.  All units have a visible relation to this courtyard so that residents can always have a sense of connection to the bumble of activity occurring within the community. A roof top garden provides produce for CHUC residents and Lark, a nearby farm-to-table restaurant, with spectacular views of downtown Seattle, and the Olympics beyond.

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Project Information

CLIENT
Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing

LOCATION
Seattle, WA

PROJECT TYPE
Cohousing
Multi-Family Housing
Mixed-Use
MFTE

COMPLETED
2016

AREA
17,600 SF
9 Units + 1 Commercial Space

SCOPE
Full Design Services
Construction Administration

DEVELOPMENT COST
$5.6M

PROJECT TEAM
Schemata Workshop
SvR Design Company
Berger Partnership
SSA Acoustics
dark | light
Ecotope
Quantum Engineers
Seattle Urban Farming Company
Cascade Built