The historic town of Langley, WA, was never a boomtown. Situated along Saratoga Passage north of Seattle on Whidbey Island, its “downtown” amounted to a string of businesses along a block and a half of First Street, up from the marina.
This cluster of buildings along Second Street set a new pattern of development, expanding the core of town. Its two front buildings stand proud on the street, giving it a stronger room-like quality. Between the two is an enticing walkway leading to a garden courtyard surrounded by a café, offices, retail and residences. The walkway builds on a pattern of cross-block walkways, linking the streets and alleyways together – enlivening the shops and creating much more interesting pedestrian experience.
The building details have a bit of whimsy: the blue building sports a carved giraffe head poking its head from a supposed window – referencing the Giraffe Heros Project, which has its headquarters in the building. Giraffe footprints can be seen in the sidewalk below. A carved rooster, crowing to the morning sun, crowns the white building with black diamonds.