Posts tagged with "Seattle":
The gorgeously staggered concrete elements of Jim Ellis Freeway Park, one of the most significant architectural spaces in Seattle, are scattered across a thickly forested hill atop an intersection of Interstate 5 between the neighborhoods of Downtown Seattle and First Hill. Completed in 1976 by American landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and Bulgarian architect Angela Danadjieva, the 5.2-acre Freeway Park is one of only a small handful of Brutalist-designed parks in the world and is a commendable example of how parkland can be used to bridge communities that were previously divided by highway infrastructure.
Given its significance to the field of landscape architecture and the urban history of Seattle, Freeway Park was recently nominated for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The nomination was submitted shortly after a $10 million capital improvement project was announced to restore Freeway Park as part of an agreement made with the expansion of the nearby Convention Center. A total of $9,250,000 of the funds will be used for much-needed repairs and restoration, while the remaining $750,000 will go towards the further activation of the park as part of its management by the Freeway Park Association, a non-profit organization founded in 1993 to advocate and host events in the park.
A portion of the funds may go towards reintroducing the water feature to the park, which was discontinued in 1992 following an issue with water loss that was present since its construction. The renovation process is expected to begin next summer and be completed by December 2021.
The nomination was reviewed on October 25 by the Washington State Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and it was subsequently placed on the Washington Heritage Register in a unanimous vote. Its placement on the NRHP is still yet to be announced.
“We wanted to create a simple, beautiful, rational, and flexible building that will serve the Burke for hundreds of years,” said Tom Kundig, cofounder of Olson Kundig. “It is an inviting place not only for the public but also for the scientists, researchers, and curators of today and tomorrow.” While previous iterations of the museum were opaque and disjointed, the firm sought to make the institution’s new home transparent and united in its facilities. Labs and gallery spaces, for example, are separated by panes of glass to provide visitors with the opportunity to see roughly two-thirds of the items kept on storage shelves as well as “behind-the-scenes” paleontology. “I knew we had to do more than just build a bigger box with good air conditioning,” said Stein. “People’s reaction to going behind the scenes is magic. We had to do something to create that magic for everyone who comes to the Burke, not just the select few who get a behind-the-scenes tour.”
The BURKE sign is officially lit up for our First Night First Light gala fundraiser at the #NewBurke on the Northwest corner of @UW. We look forward to seeing the sign in the night sky for many years to come! pic.twitter.com/ooJCSAsqBt— Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (@burkemuseum) October 6, 2019
The Seattle Architecture Foundation is set to open Symbiosis, the 22nd edition of its Annual Architectural Model Exhibit next month. Curated in the foundation’s on-site gallery, Symbiosis will bring together the work of 25 local architects and designers from September 12 through November 23 and will be free to the public. As has been the case for over two decades, participants in the exhibition will have the unique opportunity to connect with visitors through models, drawings, renderings, videos, and accompanying text.
This year, several innovative design practices in the area, including NBBJ, Olson Kundig, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Perkins + Will, LMN Architects, and Wittman Estes Architecture + Landscape, have been asked to contribute work based on a central theme. According to the foundation’s website, Symbiosis “celebrates mutually beneficial relationships and the positive products and constructive outcomes of interdependence.” An opening reception with local designers and architects will be held on September 11 and is open to paying members of the public.
Kengo Kuma & Associates has gone to great lengths to preserve and highlight a century-old Gothic Revival building in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood, proposing a mixed-use skyscraper that accentuates the ornate frontage of the five-story structure. According to designs submitted to the city for review earlier this year, the 42-story tower will fill most of the lot on the corner of Second Avenue and Virginia Street, receding slightly from the street to allow the facade of the 104-year-old Bebb & Gould’s Terminal Sales Annex building to protrude. Certain elements in the design of the skyscraper itself will also make reference to Seattle’s storied gothic and art deco architectural heritage.
Kuma’s initial designs for the tower, which were produced in collaboration with Ankrom Moisan Architects and the landscape architecture firm Berger Partnership for developer Pacific Virginia, indicate that the majority of the building’s floor space will be dedicated to condominiums. A coworking space and a hotel will occupy most of the first fifteen floors, while the first floor will house several lobbies and a restaurant. Much of the interior of the Terminal Sales Annex will be converted into amenity spaces for the hotel, which will accommodate the historic building’s existing floor plates.
The telescoping mass of the skyscraper is reminiscent of Seattle’s art deco traditions and aligns with the form of the Terminal Sales Annex below. In order to avoid completely overwhelming the landmarked structure in scale, the lowest massing on the Second Avenue frontage is only four stories tall. The setbacks will also create a small plaza at the corner of Second and Virginia, which could be used for seating and greenery. Renderings show sand-colored bands extending upwards on the facade of Kuma’s tower, likely an attempt to mimic the vertical lines and stonework on the Terminal Sales Annex.
While further details on the appearance of the skyscraper and the schedule for its construction have not been released, it seems certain that Seattle will be witnessing a highly involved form of facadism. In lieu of dismantling the interior of the Terminal Sales Annex or engulfing its street frontage in a wall of glass and steel, Kuma & Associates and its collaborators have created something that balances the needs of their client with respect for the historic significance and vulnerability of the site.
Architects and developers building across much of Seattle will soon have to meet the city’s new Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) requirements, a set of rules passed with a spate of recent comprehensive zoning changes designed to ensure that “new commercial and multifamily residential development contributes [new] affordable housing.”
The MHA regulations were approved this spring and are expected to add over 6,000 new low-income housing units to the city’s housing stock over the next decade. The changes are part of the city’s Housing Affordability and Living Agenda, a three-pronged effort undertaken by city agencies several years ago to increase housing supply in order to stem escalating rents and property values across the thriving region. The fiercely contested changes in land use will allow for a greater level of residential density in many of the city’s neighborhoods and will ask builders to either include affordable housing on-site or pay into a general fund that can be used by city agencies to create new affordable housing in other areas.
The new regulations span five categories of development density, from low-rise detached and row house neighborhoods to taller mixed-use districts where buildings will be allowed to rise to a height of 95 feet or more. The efforts will upzone roughly 6 percent of the city’s single-family zones. Single-family zones ultimately make up over 80 percent of the city’s residential areas.
MHA regulations, according to planning documents provided by the City of Seattle, will be pegged to the degree of upzoning that takes place: Under the plan, areas that have been upzoned most significantly will be required to add a relatively higher proportion of new affordable housing. The required fees administered in lieu of on-site affordable housing construction will start at $5.58 per square foot for projects located in low-rise areas outside downtown Seattle and will go as high as $35.75 per square foot for larger mixed-use developments, according to city agencies.
The requirements will necessarily affect the work of architects designing buildings in these areas, but it is so far unclear exactly how. The MHA requirements are set to go into effect immediately, as the city’s rezoning initiatives are approved on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis.
Thanks to LMN Architects, Seattle has a new space for making experimental music. The recently opened Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center performance and educational music facility brings new state-of-the-art sound experience capabilities right to the city’s Benaroya Hall symphony complex, which was also designed by LMN 20 years ago.
The new music center is spectacularly technical in terms of its offerings, and includes a custom-designed acoustically absorptive ceiling and 13 curving screens hung on circular tracks that can create nearly-360-degree immersive and interactive projections. The facility's speakers, microphones, projectors, lighting, and HVAC are all integrated into the absorptive ceiling while a professional-quality Meyer Constellation digital acoustic system is sophisticated enough to allow musicians who use the space to engage in cross-genre performances.
According to the architects, the sound system enables a “spatial sound” experience, created when individual speakers across the room play selective sounds to create the impression of movement.Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center at Benaroya Hall 200 University Street Seattle, Washington Architect: LMN Architects