Central Area Design Guidelines
Effecting change for and by the community

Schemata Workshop, in collaboration with Mimar Studio, worked with the City of Seattle and the Central Area Neighborhood Design Guidelines Coalition to draft and produce the Central Area Design Guidelines (CADG), neighborhood specific design guidelines for Seattle's Central Area. It is a crucial moment for such guidelines to be outlined and adopted since the Central Area is undergoing a period of rapid development that has already resulted in a visible alteration to the neighborhood's fabric.

Neighborhood specific guidelines, like the CADG, help holistically guide the outcome of pending and future development in a way that produces projects that feel appropriate and contextual within the existing community and help solidify a neighborhood's identity. They supplement the Seattle city-wide guideline which do not zoom in on specific neighborhood needs. Ultimately, the goal of design guidelines are not to stall or prevent development, but rather, create a framework that allowed new projects to meet goals set forth by the community they will serve.

To develop the Guidelines, the team took a three-pronged approach:

  1. Conduct background research and analysis of previous, similar efforts conducted in the Central Area.
  2. Coordinate and facilitate community outreach to determine current and relevant design needs in the neighborhood;
  3. Synthesize information gathered through tasks 1 & 2 into a design guidelines document which can be adopted by the City of Seattle.

Additionally, an action plan that spoke to how the community could achieve goals outside the scope of the Central Area Neighborhood Design Guidelines was developed.


Learn More

Project Information

City of Seattle

Seattle, WA

Design Guidelines

April 2018

Neighborhood Specific Guidelines

Schemata Workshop (Architect)
Mimar Studio (Architect)