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...
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
Landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson of Seattle-based Gustafson Guthrie Nichol and London's Gustafson Porter recently received the eighth annual Obayashi Prize in Tokyo. Established by the Obayashi Foundation, the prize is awarded to a recipient whose work is in tune with the Foundation's mission of supporting interdisciplinary design research in relation to cities and urbanism. — bustler.net
Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC by GUSTAFSON GUTHRIE NICHOLDiana, Princess of Wales Memorial in Hyde Park, London UK by GUSTAFSON PORTERFind out more on Bustler.
Sunday, October 12:A classic American look, feng shui notwithstanding: Investigating the impact of wealthy Chinese immigrants on suburban Seattle's real estate boom.Saturday, October 11:Indiana Ponders Abolishing Licensing for Architects: Part of a state-wide reconsideration of more than "...
“Seattle was a better opportunity for me than China right now,” Mr. Wang said. “A lot of Chinese families are planning to move here.” — NYT
Nicholas Korody penned a review - The Trouble with a Bird’s Eye View. The piece dissects a summer exhibition of the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Design. He concludes the pairing of aerial photographs by Los Angeles-based Lane Barden with a geo-mapping project by the German-American...
“It is amazing to realize you could walk around the site not knowing if there is a body underneath you,” Nelson said. “How do you commemorate that?” — The Seattle Times
Of the approximately 200 people buried at Saar Pioneer Cemetery, there are 89 unmarked graves, each unable to inform visitors of their presence and the role they played in Kent history. Collaborative artists Frances Nelson and Bradly Gunn seek to mark the unmarked by creating a series...
Updated designs have surfaced for Amazon's new headquarters in downtown Seattle. Instead of the biospheres' uniformly diamond-shaped supporting structure (compare with previous renderings), the new images we just received from the project's architects, NBBJ, show a much more organic web of...
Reminiscent of a greenhouse or conservatory, the three intersecting biodomes replace an earlier plan for a six-story office building and would establish a visual focus and “heart” for the three-block project, according to plans filed with the city.
The spheres will offer “a plant-rich environment” filled with species from mountainous ecologies around the globe, chosen for their “ability to coexist in a microclimate that also suits people,” according to the plans. — seattletimes.com
Yesterday, on Earth Day, Seattle's latest green building celebrated its grand opening: The Bullitt Center, a super-efficient office space at 1501 East Madison Street, was designed to become the world’s largest functioning, commercial Living Building, using an estimated 83 percent less energy than a typical Seattle office building and achieving Net Zero Energy and Net Zero Water. — bustler.net
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
A brand new green building project is set to become one of the world’s most sustainable commercial office builds not for the new and innovative technology it has implemented but for the unique approach to green building the developers have taken. — DesignBuild Source
The initial responses of some local architects to the arena drawings were underwhelming.
While cautioning that the renderings are preliminary, Seattle architect and critic Mark Hinshaw said some of the views of the proposed arena seem like "boxes with a tight lid" that could be any number of public buildings.
"One thing that seems missing is any kind of dramatic roof expression that we have seen with a number of landmark buildings — particularly ones that involve large audiences. — seattletimes.com
In 2006, the developers of Olive 8 — a swanky hotel/condo complex planned for downtown Seattle — were looking for a way to build beyond the 300-foot height limit that zoning allowed. Doing so required some compromises — but not the kind of backroom deal residents of Chicago or Baltimore might assume. — grist.org
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