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Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson-designed Soma Towers Now Complete

Downtown Bellevue’s newest residential high-rises, SOMA Towers, are now complete after two phases of construction. Designed by architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the towers are located adjacent to the Microsoft and Expedia campuses, and will help meet the tech boom’s housing demands in the Seattle region.

Grossing 432,000-square-feet of mixed-use development, SOMA offers 273 one- and two-bedroom living units and five levels of below-grade parking. The high-rises share three plaza levels that enliven the neighborhood with local retailers and restaurants, including La Bu La, Just Poke, and Fika House Kafe. A boutique performing arts and community events venue, Resonance, is located on the second level and can be rented for private use.

Two prefabricated signature design elements anchor the towers on the plaza’s ground level: an 80-foot-long ‘leaf’ canopy of glass is suspended from a 70-foot-tall vertical circulation ‘cone’ of backlit metal fins. The ‘leaf’ is intended to protect the plaza, which is designated for farmer’s markets and events, from the outdoor elements.

The 18- and 21- story towers include shared social spaces for residents on the upper levels with views of the Cascade Mountains to the east, and Lake Washington and the Seattle skyline to the west. The distinct façade of the buildings utilizes a mix of clear, translucent, and opaque glass that reflects the shifting nature of the Pacific Northwest skies.

The towers are Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s first built high-rise project, with design led by Principal Robert Miller in the firm’s Seattle office. They were completed in collaboration with Su Development, who participated as client, developer, and contractor.