BUILD Blog


Seattle’s Civic Architecture
March 23, 2008, 10:49 pm
Filed under: Architecture, Seattle, The Modern List Seattle, Urban Architecture

We can’t even imagine how difficult it must be to do inspiring, forward thinking architecture at the civic level in Seattle. Over the last eight years a handful of firms have been doing some very admirable projects despite the growing challenges of public work and the increasing complexity of obtaining a building permit through Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD). Here are a number of excellent architectural contributions that have beaten the odds:

Fire station 10 by Weinstein A|U, 2008
Fire Station 10 by Weinstein A|U

Fire Station 10 by Weinstein A|U

Seattle West Precinct/911 by Weinstein A|U, 2000
West Precinct/911 by Weinstein A|U

West Precinct/911 by Weinstein A|U

Federal courthouse by NBBJ, 2004
Federal Courthouse by NBBJ

City Hall by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson + Bassetti Architects, 2003
Seattle City Hall by Bohlin Cywinsky Jackson

Seattle City Hall by Bohlin Cywinsky Jackson

Seattle City Hall by Bohlin Cywinsky Jackson

Seattle City Hall by Bohlin Cywinsky Jackson

Fisher Pavilion by Miller Hull, 2001
Fisher Pavilion by Miller Hull

Seattle Justice Center by NBBJ, 2003
Seattle Justice Center by NBBJ

…and of course the Seattle Public Library by OMA, 2004
Seattle Public Library by OMA

Seattle Public Library by OMA
Seattle’s branch libraries can be seen on an earlier post

So to those of you involved in this extraordinary work, does the City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development stand in the way each step of the process on their own projects too?

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1 Comment so far
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yes. you’d think they’d be more proactive in working w/ the parks dept, but we’re finding that it’s one headache after another. the problem with the parks is the majority ping 3+ ECAs since the parks are carved out of bad land. that means they require all sorts of paperwork and exemptions. The city and parks dept. should get togethor and draft an agreement that certain projects can bypass certain stages of the pre-intake process. it’s a major annoyance.

fs 10 doesn’t do the rendering justice.

nbbj’s judicial center doesn’t function very well from an environmental standpoint. i think it’s one of the first double skin glass walls in the city, w/ a 30″ airspace. but there are a lot of problems with it.

http://hpb.buildinggreen.com/cgi-bin/projectscale.cgi?max=800&src=/project_225/thermal%5Fbuffer%5Fsketch2%2Ejpg

from my understanding of double skin walls, there needs to be a way for users to ventilate directly from the 30″ airspace, and i don’t think that’s the way the justice center works.

Comment by mike




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