Argonaut 2 Apartments

  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • Year: 2014
  • Client: Plymouth House of Healing
  • Architect: Elizabeth Maher Architects
  • Photos: Rafn Company

Argonaut 2 is a 10,000 square foot addition of 6 new units, a community room, a laundry room, and office space to an existing and occupied 8 unit project. This project serves to help place individuals with chronically mental illnesses into permanent homes who would otherwise be discharged from medical facilities back onto the streets. The building is 2 stories of wood framing located adjacent to busy 23rd Avenue on First Hill in Seattle.

The project site was tight, restrained on one side by 23rd Avenue and a steep slope and school on the other. It also contained poor soils which required excavation down to bearing soil, a 10 foot retaining wall, new fill, and Lean Mix concrete under the new buildings footings to stabilize the soil.

The project was funded in part by HUD requiring increased paperwork and reporting, some of which occurred during the federal government shut down in October 2013. Rafn’s automated and paperless accounting system provided complete information to all interested parties accurately and quickly, allowing focus to remain squarely on creating quality affordable and service oriented housing.

A funding requirement but also a Rafn standard practice, the building was constructed to the Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard including a heat reducing roof composition, low voc materials, whole-house ventilation, fly ash in all new exterior concrete, and construction recycling.

Safety was a key factor in the success of the project. An occupied building with a vulnerable population required increased communication, vigilance in monitoring hazards, and coordination with changing conditions to the building. Rafn also maintained an additional emergency egress through the construction area throughout the duration of the project.

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