There are ways to bring elegance to 5 over 1 structures, but it requires a high degree of skill and commitment. Only a very talented designer can take such a limited palette of materials and make the resulting building interesting, if not elegant. But developers must be willing to hire those skilled designers. Many are simply not interested. [...] Hence, the wildly uneven — and often uninspiring — architecture in Seattle today. — crosscut.com
Similar tenor in other booming parts of the nation:Blair Kamin not impressed by Chicago's latest housing developmentsJeff Sheppard calls downtown Denver's new housing developments "meaningless, uninspiring"
The bridge, should it be built, would be about a mile long. It would span Sinclair Inlet, connecting Bremerton and Port Orchard, about 15 miles west of Seattle. Today, it’s a 10-mile, often traffic-clogged, drive between the towns. Rep. Jesse Young, whose district includes these two towns, thinks using an old carrier or two would make a fine tourist attraction and tribute to the military. — Wired
Megaprojects almost always fall short of their promises—costing too much, delivering underwhelming benefits, or both. Yet...cities still fall for them, seduced by new technologies and the lure of the perfect fix. A mix of factors has given Seattle a particularly acute sense of angst. The project depends on a singular piece of engineering. And Bertha’s building a highway for cars in a city where workers overcrowd buses and commuters wrap themselves in waterproof everything to bike in the rain. — Bloomberg
Bedecked with amusingly cutesy illustrations, Bloomberg tells the exasperating tale of the giant tunnel drill dubbed Bertha, which began digging the new State Route 99 tunnel underneath downtown Seattle in summer 2013 to replace the current street-level Alaskan Way Viaduct and ideally clear up the...
Archinect's Architecture School Lecture Guide for Winter-Spring 2015Archinect's Get Lectured is back in session! Get Lectured is an ongoing series where we feature a school's lecture series—and their snazzy posters—for the current term. Check back frequently to keep track of any upcoming...
If there’s anything positive to emerge from the current mess, it’s that local advocates like Cary Moon, who warned against building the tunnel in the first place, are commanding attention again. Moon recently took to the pages of the local alt-weekly, the Stranger, to argue that in light of the tunnel project’s spectacular, slow-motion meltdown, the city should explore other options. — streetsblog.org
Ancient Egypt endured plagues of locusts. Seattle has its tunnel, which over the last year has featured a series of setbacks and fiascos that, depending on one’s outlook, can be the setup for a punch line, or an eye-rolling narrative of put-upon endurance.
In the latest blow, project engineers said this week that 30 or more buildings in the historic Pioneer Square area [...] had unexpectedly settled, possibly because of water pumping related to the project. — nytimes.com
The steel structure looms large from Midge Cross and Scott Johnston's back porch. And from the beginning they say Architect Tom Kundig and his partners ignored land covenants meant to prevent any ridgeline buildings that would be visible from below.
"To me it was the extended third finger," said Cross. "Like, 'Up yours, Mazama, we can put this here and the heck with you guys.'" — komonews.com
In the fall of 2012, Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects built a private cabin on the picturesque ridge of the Methow Valley in Washington. Prior residents of the valley's Mazama community were miffed by the ruined view, and claimed that the cabin violated "protective covenants for visual...
Clinging to antiquated urban notions, the District’s building height regulations imagine a skyline filled with spires, domes and minarets. — Washington Post
The debate over the Capital's skyline should not pit preservationists against contemporary designers. In fact, regulations that take advantage of the rooftop space would contribute to the monumental character of the city.
We never would have expected Tom Kundig to be embroiled in legal battle with a community of conservationists, but the characteristically eco-minded architect was slapped with a lawsuit a few weeks ago by residents of Methow Valley, WA. As it turns out, one of Kundig’s newest construction, dubbed the Flagg Mountain Hut, protrudes into the viewshed of a pristine ridge in the valley... the community is not happy with the project and they’ve launched a campaign asking the owners to move the hut. — inhabitat.com
The award-winning firm of world renowned Seattle architect Jim Olson has been selected to design the new Museum of Art at Washington State University. — news.wsu.edu
Today the Trust for the National Mall announced the three winning teams of the National Mall Design Competition. [...]
The competition winners are: Union Square: Gustafson Guthrie Nichol + Davis Brody Bond; Sylvan Theater on the Washington Monument Grounds: OLIN + Weiss/Manfredi; Constitution Gardens: Rogers Marvel Architects + Peter Walker and Partners — bustler.net
We don’t even see his feet. He is embedded in the rock like something not yet fully born, suited and stern, rising from its roughly chiseled surface. His face is uncompromising, determined, his eyes fixed in the distance, not far from where Jefferson stands across the water. But kitsch here strains at the limits of resemblance: Is this the Dr. King of the “I Have a Dream” speech? Or the writer of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech? — nytimes.com
It’s difficult in this town to compete with the quality and price of the Smithsonian. DC is uniquely blessed with such incredible public museums that private museums often have to compete, and while they often do it incredibly well, it’s tough to see one move from a free model to one supported by admission fees. The National Building Museum announced today that by the end of the month they will be charging an $8 fee for adults, and a $5 fee for children, students, and seniors. — welovedc.com
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