We may be biased, but the newly updated DWR Studio is a must-see when seeing Seattle. Located near the Pike Place Market, our renovated space is a sun-filled, open and engaging environment that will inspire you to create the home of your dreams. After indulging your inner designer, here are a few of the other Seattle spots to satiate your passion for design.
When it comes to this library, I have one word: Vertigo. Set on a sharply sloped hillside and consisting of intersecting planes of glass and steel, the building is mysterious, intriguing and dramatic, as if reflecting the books inside. Designed by Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus of OMA and completed in 2004, it’s as much a community center as a repository for books.
The feeling of being under a canopy of glass stays with you from floor to floor, which is a marvelous feat as well as the source of my unsteady feet. There are places where you’re so exposed to the 11-story drop that I had to hug the wall and look away as I passed. If finding a book is your goal (overcoming fear of heights: first floor) there is a four-story-high “Books Spiral” where you can peruse a continuous ramp of shelves without climbing a single step. Need a place to work or read? Large rooms and nooks abound, from the cathedral-like top floor to hidden corners, many furnished with sofas and chairs by Loll. Whether you love it or hate it, you have to see the building that architecture critic Paul Goldberger called “the most important new library to be built in a generation, and the most exhilarating.”
Before designing the EMP Building, Frank Gehry purchased several electric guitars and sliced them into pieces. These deconstructed forms served as the inspiration for his aluminum and stainless steel structure, completed in 2000 for Seattle’s pop culture museum. Like so many stunning buildings that celebrate the sun, Gehry’s gleaming glory is no exception. Responding to different light conditions, the building conveys the fluidity and ever-changing nature of music. Inside, you feel a bit like a Ping-Pong ball bouncing between gift shops, but the massive LED screen sound stage and Sky Church is a treat.
With so many references to cathedral- and church-like aspects in the places previously described, I’ll conclude with the Space Needle, the steeple of Seattle. From the top you can see everything from Mount Rainier to the green roofs of the Chihuly Garden, kindly planted with rosemary and sage by Richard Hartlage to ensure a green view. Like the Pacific Science Center, the Space Needle was designed for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. In 1959, Artist Edward E. Carlson used a coffee shop napkin to sketch his vision for a balloon-like tower, but the final flying saucer shape was the work of architects John Graham and John Ridley.
Standing 520 feet above the ground, the dome is so perfectly balanced that it takes only one 1.5-horsepower motor to rotate the SkyCity Restaurant, located just below the observation deck. This was the second rotating restaurant in the U.S. The first, also designed by Graham, was La Ronde, built in 1961 atop Hawaii’s Ala Moana Shopping Center (home to the DWR Hawaii Studio) and later converted to a private office. Talk about feeling as if you’re running in circles at the office.
Do you have an architectural marvel to add? If so, send us a comment below.