Photography Project – Kinects Tower Residential High-Rise

Photography Project – Kinects Tower Residential High-Rise

The mixed-use building includes 350+ multi-family units … a rooftop indoor pool on the 41st floor … plus shared outdoor spaces like an outdoor yoga deck and communal BBQ

Andersen Construction – Photographing a Residential High-Rise in a Dense Urban Setting, Seattle, WA

Portland, OR-based Andersen Construction is a large commercial construction company with offices throughout Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.  I was initially contacted by them to shoot aerial photos of their Kinects Tower project in downtown Seattle to highlight the firm’s capabilities to build a structure that actually gets wider as it gets taller, and also to solve the logistics of building in the ever-more-dense downtown Seattle core.  Later, I was hired back to shoot both interior and exterior architectural images of the finished building.

Kinects Tower is a 41-story, 500,000 SF high-rise apartment tower in downtown Seattle.  The mixed-use building includes 350+ multi-family units from traditional studio apartments to luxury penthouse suites on the top two floors, and luxury amenities including a rooftop indoor pool on the 41st floor and community kitchens and lounges, plus shared outdoor spaces like an outdoor yoga deck and communal BBQ areas.  As the construction company, Andersen had different photo needs than either the architects or the developer / owner, so they contracted with me separately to photograph the finished building.

Originally planned as a one-day shoot for both exteriors and interiors, after scouting the dense urban location I decided that the best perspective for full-height dusk exteriors was from the roof of a 9-story retirement community about two blocks away.  I arranged permission with their facilities director and then started watching the forecast.  Since the weather needs for the dusk exteriors weren’t lining up with the building’s interior availability, I went ahead and split the shoot in to multiple visits to get the best possible images based on conditions.

From the roof of the nearby building, the tower rises above its neighbors and glows against the dusk sky as the full moon rises off to the side.  Additionally, using a second camera and tripod I set up a roughly 2-1/2 hr. sequence of shooting an image every 15 seconds.  I later combined these into a 25-second time lapse video, and from there created a second motion piece called a Cinemagraph – a sort of still and video hybrid – as an added video bonus for my client.

Once the punch list was completed and final furniture delivery had occurred, I returned to the building about a month later and photographed the previously-agreed shot list.  Since we were highlighting Andersen’s capabilities, we focused on spaces that showed off the firm’s various services, that highlighted particularly challenging aspects of the build (like the 41st floor pool), or that showed them as able to handle everything from large concrete pours to fine, detailed woodwork.  The final set of nearly 700 images was edited to 96, from which the client chose a dozen files for final retouching and highest-rez delivery, in addition to their image library of all 96 images as un-retouched, screen-rez jpegs, and their bonus Cinemagraph video.

This project won the 2017 NAIOP-Washington High-Rise Residential Development of the Year Award, and has been nominated for the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce’s Building of the Year Award.

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