International Special Review District Design Guidelines
Guided by historic and cultural community input

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

Neighborhood specific guidelines 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 to solidify a neighborhood's identity. The goal of the guidelines is not to stall or prevent development, but rather to create a framework that allows new projects to meet goals set forth by the community they will serve.

To develop the Guidelines, the team is taking a three-pronged approach: first, conduct background research and analysis of previous, similar efforts conducted in the Central Area; second, coordinate and facilitate community outreach to determine current and relevant design needs in the neighborhood; and third, 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 speaks to how the community can achieve goals outside the scope of the Central Area Neighborhood Design Guidelines will be developed.

The CADG will supplement the already-adopted citywide Design Guidelines. The Guidelines seek to acknowledge and promote the cultural identity of the African American and African communities within the neighborhood, guide new development to celebrate these and other cultural heritages of the neighborhood, reinforce and encourage innovative place-making that gives the CA its unique identity, and support a vibrant commercial and small business community.

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Project Information

City of Seattle - Office of Planning and Development

Seattle (International District), WA

Design Guidelines

Anticipated Summer 2018

Neighborhood Specific Guidelines

Schemata Workshop (Architect)
BOLA Preservation + Planning (Historic Preservation Consultant)