Modular Building Institute

Cubix North Park

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Main Category:
Modular Building Design
Jackson|Main Architecture
Guerdon Modular Buildings & DCI Engineers
Seattle, WA
Building Use:
Multifamily with 2 retail spaces
Gross Size of Project:
42523 Square Feet
Days to complete:

Award Criteria

  1. Architectural Excellence
    Cubix North Park defies the misconceptions of modular construction. The project passed the rigorous Seattle Design Review board with its modulated façade and playful expression of the modular components. The large southern façade facing the primary street was modulated by building recesses into the boxes, and cutting away continuous rim joists after setting, which reveals depth and modulation. Material choices and colors were made to break down the horizontal mass to multiple vertical moves that integrate with the first floor of site-built construction and seamlessly meet the ground plane. The boxes were cantilevered and varied in length to provide a geometric and playful depth to the facade. The design stands as a new landmark in the neighborhood for forward-thinking, sustainable, and attractive development.
  2. Technical Innovation & Sustainability
    Cubix North Park is comprised of 93 micro-studios contained in 36 boxes. The facility features three stories of modular wood construction over one story of a glulam and steel structure built on site. The team made a design decision to organize the boxes parallel to the corridor, with six studios across two boxes, and a cantilevered corridor, which reduces the site framing. With studio units measuring 11'4” wide, the team chose to run boxes parallel to the corridor, instead of using the more common double-loaded corridor approach. This approach reduced the overall box count and subsequent transportation costs by 38%. The innovative box layout also resulted in fewer exterior matelines, reducing the time to dry in after a brief eight-day set. Façade modulation was achieved by articulating exterior recesses behind the continuous rim joists. The rim joists were used as pick points, and then removed after set to provide a form not expected with a parallel box orientation.
  3. Cost Effectiveness
    In Seattle's expensive labor and construction market, modular construction was the biggest cost saving measure for North Park. The developer was able to take advantage of the fixed pricing and quality control of a factory setting offered by an out of state manufacturer. The parallel box design reduced the overall box count by 38%, which reduced factory time and transportation costs. The modular design and construction process also offered efficiencies in site logistics, with the project involving minimal crane moves and a compressed set schedule of only eight days. Standardized unit plans increased productivity and cost savings at the factory. Modular construction allowed the project to be dried in substantially faster than a stick built project, resulting in a shorter construction schedule with minimal trade work, and greatly reduced disruptions in the dense urban neighborhood environment.
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