Pioneer Square – Before & After

Universal design is a good idea.

You may not have heard the term “universal design” or “accessible design”, especially if you do not have or know anyone who has a physical challenge, such as a condition that requires a wheelchair.

Universal design upholds the philosophy that well-designed, accessible spaces, do more than make it easier for those with physical challenges to get around and find places to work, eat, and nest. It makes it easier for everyone, which is what makes it “universal”.

The motivation for change.

When Randy and Leslie sought an artsy downtown loft to purchase in Seattle, they were disappointed with the inventory and lack of options.  Most developers treat accessible units in condominium buildings as a detriment to market appeal, not an advantage. I believe this is due to the visual image we conjure up, based upon what has been built merely to satisfy the code requirements (bathrooms that look like nursing homes, or kitchens that look like cabinets were forgotten).

This project is proof that a wheelchair-accessible space can blend fashion and function, while maximizing everyone’s use and enjoyment.  Follow the links below to read more:

Teagarden, Rebecca. “Cool design turns a basic condo into a home as chic as it is fully accessible.” Pacific Northwest Aug. 8, 2009.

Renzi, Jen. “Accessibility Makes for a Movable Feast,” Architectural Record July 2008

Pioneer-before

Before

Pioneer-1

After

Pioneer-2

After, two happy cooks in the kitchen.

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