Located in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, this 177-unit multi-family project was inspired by Scandinavian culture, design, and Ballard’s Scandinavian roots. In fact, the project was named after one of the former property owners, the family of Bjorn Leo Valdok, who immigrated from Norway in 1959. Along with the new Nordic Museum, Bergen Place Park, and the 17th of May Festival for Norway’s Constitution Day the project reaffirms the legacy of Scandinavian immigrants in the area.
The 300-foot long building was articulated into three distinct sections, with the middle set-back from the street to allow for exterior residential space. The ground floor is designed to have a prominent retail corner, large lobby with amenity space, and live-work units set back from the sidewalk edge with planters and privacy screens. The mid-block ground floor units are set back from the pedestrian street with private stoops raised above street-level. Above the live-work zone at the middle of the block, the building steps back, creating a private terrace space for the units above.
Valdok and it’s second building across the street —Valdok II (due to complete early next year)— maintain solar access to the ground plane and ensure compatibility with the neighborhood scale and urban context. Focus was given to enhancing the pedestrian experience by establishing human scale elements, interest, and activity along the street frontage. This and smaller retail opportunities in the project strengthen the economic vibrancy of the area while the main residential lobby entrance is set back from the property line to provide a gathering space.
The interiors are warm and inviting yet understated and use wood and other natural materials throughout. These functional and thoughtful spaces include co-working offices and collaboration spaces, a resident clubhouse with catering kitchen and gaming area, a luxurious lounge area, a fitness center, and a pet wash/dog grooming center.
Valdok’s roof garden terrace was designed to take advantage of the large roof area and offer a variety of amenities. These amenity spaces are oriented towards the south to take advantage of solar exposure and views of Ballard and beyond while screening and planters with small trees between the areas create semi-private areas for groups of residents. The roof deck includes several communal seating areas, a dog run, fire pit, and large outdoor cooking and barbecue space with raised plant beds for residents to grow their own produce.