Seattle is one of those places I had trouble believing exists…because how can something naturally majestic like Mt.Rainier be in the same picture as modern skyscrapers and the fricken Space Needle?
But it can and it does! I saw it with my very own eyes from Kerry Park, the elevated strip of land in the Queen Anne neighborhood where you can get a postcard view of the city, as seen above (Mt.Rainier was half-covered by clouds but you should be able to make out the base…)
Besides taking in this quintessential Seattle view, the other “sight-seeing must” on my three-day jaunt there earlier this month was the Central Library, designed by OMA in collaboration with local firm LMN.
This has been at the top of my architecture bucket list and it did not disappoint. The geometry! The colors! The drama!
I read that this building is a prime example of form-follows-function design, but I wasn’t able to totally get that from what I experienced in the 40 minutes I was there, making my way up some nine levels open to the public. Need more time! And actual library tasks/errands to complete! Can you imagine being a regular here?
Regardless, I was impressed, intrigued, and thought it makes a good case for architecture. The fact that some architects/designers/engineers were able able to pull this off—from concept to reality, with4,644 tons of steel and 9,994 pieces of glass in between—and to see all the spaces fully utilized on a Saturday afternoon…was so satisfying.
This was my first time in the Pacific Northwest and I got an authentic Seattle experience—it rained every day I was there. The air was particularly fresh though. It also looked and smelled like Christmas everywhere. I will be back. 😉
All photos by me (unless otherwise noted or I’m in them, then it’s Jason)