Replacing a parking lot in Pioneer Square, a designated historic district, required the developer to clear many hurdles. The design went through several versions before it won the approval of city officials, who vetted materials, signage and even color choices. In one concession, the sides of the Weyerhaeuser building were made of hand-laid brick, to help the structure blend with its neighbors. — NYT
LMN Architects [...] wants the tower to survive 50 to 100 years. “If that’s the case, we do need to make sure—I feel we do have have the responsibility—that if the parking uses do change, we design to be able to adapt to that change,” [...] the coming transformation to a car-free-ish future. With rideshare, bikeshare, carshare, increasing transit options, and fully automated vehicles on the horizon, cities are less eager to allocate precious space for empty, parked cars. — wired.com
Seattle Art Museum hasn't exactly been forthcoming with details about its plans to build an extension on the Seattle Asian Art Museum into Volunteer Park—and some of the neighbors are already unhappy. [...]
"They're just grabbing public land and trying to keep it under wraps," said Cassandra Trimble, a neighbor who is starting a petition against the glassed-in structure planned for the east side of the building, designed by LMN Architects. — thestranger.com
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the spheres will be packed with a plant collection worthy of top-notch conservatories, allowing Amazon employees to amble through tree canopies three stories off the ground, meet with colleagues in rooms with walls made from vines and eat kale Caesar salads next to an indoor creek. [...]
“The whole idea was to get people to think more creatively, maybe come up with a new idea they wouldn’t have if they were just in their office,” said Dale Alberda, the lead architect on the project at NBBJ — nytimes.com
While the benefits of greenery for employee productivity is well established, and any good tech company needs to play up the "serendipity machine" game, Amazon is taking this to an architectural level:The spheres will have meeting areas called treehouses, and suspension bridges high off the ground...
When its spheres and three surrounding towers are completed, [Amazon] will have 10 million square feet of office space in Seattle, more than 15 percent of the city's inventory, on a campus that occupies more than 10 square blocks. That will provide space for Amazon to more than double in size, to 50,000 Seattle workers in the next decade...The spheres, designed by architecture firm NBBJ, are Amazon's boldest statement yet in the first project it's building from the ground up. — Bloomberg
When Amazon donated an empty South Lake Union hotel for use as a homeless shelter, it was investing in a model that Mary’s Place, the service provider, has perfected: turning vacant or transitioning buildings into temporary shelter. — Crosscut.com
As Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct sat free of cars overhead and drivers attempted to move around the city during the roadway’s planned 2-week closure, a new drone video Tuesday showcased again what all the fuss is about. A view inside the SR 99 tunnel won’t get much better than this until you’re actually able to drive through it. [...]
The 4-minute video captures what has been built behind nearly 1,600 feet of mining along Seattle’s waterfront. — geekwire.com
NBBJ and Visual Vocal will leverage current-generation VR and augmented reality (AR) systems, with a near-term focus on mobile VR platforms for optimal accessibility and scale. While a number of firms in the design industry have examined the promise of VR, this partnership marks the first instance of an established design firm incubating a VR startup inside its own offices and developing new tools to improve decision-making and remove waste from the design process. — 12newsnow.com
Sitting atop Lake Washington, the new State Route 520 is now the longest floating bridge in the world—beating its predecessor, the old State Route 520, by 130 feet [...].
This new bridge has stronger pontoons than the last one, and can withstand more buffeting from wind and waves. It also has a stormwater collection system, bus lanes in both directions, a path for bikes and pedestrians, and the capacity to someday accommodate a light rail system. — atlasobscura.com
“Shady,” “unethical,” “secretive,” “robbed of our due process” — these were just a few of the choice terms used by angry residents this past week at a packed City Council meeting about the selling of Pine Tree Park [in Kent, outside of Seattle, WA].
Longtime Seattle land-use attorney Rick Aramburu has another term for what happened: illegal. It’s also a growing trend in the swath of cities around Seattle, places that no longer receive much scrutiny from the press.
“It’s becoming a cancer" — seattletimes.com
Called Amazon Books, the store will be located at Westfield UTC mall near UC San Diego...The store will presumably resemble the Seattle location, which sells a limited selection of Amazon's best-reviewed books. That venue also doubles as a showroom for the e-commerce brand's expanding hardware lineup, which includes its Kindle, Fire TV, Fire tablets and Echo. The Echo, the company's latest gadget, is an in-home personal assistant powered by artificial intelligence. — The Los Angeles Times
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, volunteers put the finishing touches on small houses with the kind of basic amenities you don't see in Seattle homeless camps.
"The difference is you have electricity and a lock on the door," said Steve Tucker, a member of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, which is hosting what organizers are calling Seattle's first tiny house village. — Kiro TV
Seattle joins several other pioneering cities and states across the U.S. that have chosen to provide housing for the chronically homeless. These programs have shown that the housing actually saves governments money and eventually reduces the overall rate of transient recidivism. Here's a sampling...
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