Olson Kundig Architects Reinvents Site of Expo ’74 World’s Fair for 40th Anniversary

Concept design for reuse of U.S. Federal Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Olson Kundig Architects

Forty years ago, the Expo ’74 World’s Fair opened in Spokane, Washington to great fanfare as the world’s first environmentally themed Expo. Perhaps equally as momentous, the former Soviet Union participated for the first time since World War II, and 5.6 million people attended throughout the course of the six month long Fair. This year, Olson Kundig Architects, led by design principal Tom Kundig, partnered with the City of to reinvent the original park with new concept designs for its structures, program, and facilities.

Sky Loft / KUBE architecture

© Greg Powers Photography

Architects: KUBE architecture
Location: , DC 20008,
Year: 2014
Photographs: Greg Powers Photography

St. Elizabeths East Gateway Pavilion / Davis Brody Bond

© Eric Taylor

Architects: Davis Brody Bond
Location: , DC,
Architect In Charge: Peter Cook
Project Advisor: Will Paxson
Project Designer: Rob Anderson
Photographs: Eric Taylor

2013 Seattle Design Festival

© Trevor Dykstra

This year’s Seattle Design Festival, hosted by Design in Public and AIA Seattle, will feature large scale installations, home tours, walking tours, films, lectures, exhibitions, competitions, activities, pop-up parklets, and more which is open to the general public. The city-wide event takes place September 13-22 with the hub of the festival at the ‘Design Block’ in Pioneer Square. This year’s theme is ‘Design in Health’ exploring the connection between environmental design and health & well-being. Design can improve health by: promoting physical activity, increasing access to healthy food, reducing injuries, improving air and water quality, minimizing stress, and strengthening the social fabric of communities.  More information after the break.

District of Columbia Public Library / The Freelon Group Architects

© Mark Herboth

Architects: The Freelon Group Architects
Location: 4450 Wisconsin Avenue Northwest, , DC 20016,
Area: 21472.0 ft2
Year: 2011
Photographs: Mark Herboth

NBBJ Proposes Five-Story Biodome for Amazon’s Seattle Headquarters

View Looking West from 7th Avenue & Lenora Street; Courtesy of Seattle.gov © / Studio 216

In an attempt to “create an alternative environment” in the center of ’s recently approved, three-block headquarters planned for downtown Seattle, NBBJ has submitted a revision that would replace a six-story office building with a tri-sphere biodome that will host various forms of plant life and provide a more natural setting for employees to work and socialize. Perhaps this change is Amazon’s way of “keeping up with the Joneses”, as many leading corporations – Apple, Google, and Facebook - have been unveiling plans to construct one-of-the-kind office complexes centered around sustainability, innovation and collaboration. 

The ‘World’s Greenest Commercial Building’ Opens in Seattle

Courtesy of 

The Bullitt Center, a six-story, 50,000 square foot office building in Seattle that aspires to be the world’s greenest commercial building, opens its doors to the public today on Earth Day. This $30 million “living laboratory,” designed by Miller Hull Partnership, distinguishes itself from other sustainable projects with its composting toilets, the exclusion of 350 common toxic chemicals – including PVC, lead, mercury, phthalates, BPA and formaldehyde – along with a strict energy and water budget that aims for self-sufficiency under the Living Building Challenge. The environmentally-conscious Bullitt Foundation hopes that the new center will demonstrate that carbon-neutral office space can be “commercially viable and aesthetically stunning,” a series of systems that can be easily copied elsewhere without being overly demanding in upkeep.

Read more about the Bullitt Center after the break…

Olson Kundig Architects to Design New Museum of Art for WSU

The Pierre / © Benjamin Benschneider

Seattle-based architect Jim Olson of Olson Kundig Architects has been selected by Washington State University to design a new Museum of Art. Over the years, Olson has complied a spectacular portfolio of stunning homes designed for art collectors worldwide. This experience has given Olson a “wealth of experience in not only crafting beautiful environments for works of art, but in working with artists to discover new opportunities for expressing their creativity,” according to Chris Bruce, director of the museum.

Shadowboxx / Olson Kundig Architects

© Tim Bies

Architects: Olson Kundig Architects
Location: Lopez Island, , USA
Year: 2009
Photographs: Michael Burns, Tim Bies, Kevin Scott, Benjamin Benschneider

Seattle Center HUB (Hybrid Urban Bioscape) Competition Entry / Aétrangère

Courtesy of

The Center HUB (Hybrid Urban Bioscape) is an innovative urban space that explores the value of urban hybridization as a design opportunity to address sustainable and technological issues in the definition of the contemporary public space. The starting point for the proposal by Aétrangère was to introduce an innovative approach to reach the same goals envisioned by the Seattle Center Century 21 Master Plan. Instead of conceiving the demolitions, reconstructions, new buildings, the underground parking, and the major open space as separate elements, they allow some degree of integration for sustainable features we focused on defining this public space project starting from a sustainable approach. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Transforming Seattle’s 520 Floating Bridge Competition Winners

Courtesy of David Dahl and Nicole Lew

RETHINK REUSE recently announced the winning entries in their Transforming Seattle’s 520 Floating Bridge 2012 International Design Ideas Competition. With the goal of envisioning new, innovative reuse strategies, the winners successfully answer the questions: What is a floating bridge when its function is no longer needed? What can designers do when faced with the design problem of reusing thirty-three floating concrete pontoons? More images and information on the winners after the break.

City OKs design of Amazon’s Seattle Headquarters

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With a 3-2 vote, ’s Downtown Design Review Board has voted in favor of Amazon’s plans for a three-block, high-rise complex in the Denny Triangle. The board voted after conducting five, comprehensive meetings over the last six months to review Amazon’s evolving NBBJ-designed proposal. Although this design review approval is simply a recommendation to the city’s Department of Planning and Development, it is still a milestone for the ambitious project.

The five acre site, roughly located between Sixth Avenue, Blanchard Street and Westlake Avenue, is currently occupied by expansive parking lots, the Sixth Avenue Inn and the King Cat Theater. Continue after the break to learn more.

625 Rhode Island Avenue / Suzane Reatig Architecture

© Alan Karchmer

Architects: Suzane Reatig Architecture
Location:   DC,
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Alan Karchmer

Amazon’s Seattle Headquarters / NBBJ

Amazon’s Headquarters; Images ©

NBBJ’s design for the Amazon’s new headquarters in downtown Seattle, Washington, promises to consolidate the companies currently scattered buildings into a 3-block development that includes high-rise towers, a variety of open spaces, and landscaped plazas.  The 3.3 million square foot design was presented to the city’s Design Review Board (DRB) in great detail outlining the division of the each of the buildings, their integration into the downtown urban fabric and the synthesis of the currently underdeveloped Denny’s Triangle.

Follow us after the break for more.

Seattle Design Festival

© 2012 Design in Public

The annual Seattle Design Festival, created by Design in Public, is an event that encourages all to ‘engage our world’ by offering the public an opportunity to better understand design and how it adds value to our lives, our city, and our region. This fun-filled weekend, which takes place September 20-23, is a collaboration among ten nonprofit partners that created an ambitious set of offerings: more than 35 events, including tours, films, speakers, exhibits, installations, and family programs—all aimed at a public audience. For more detailed information, including a complete list of events going on that weekend, please visit here.

Artisan Barn 
Addition / Hutchison & Maul Architecture

Courtesy of

-based Hutchison & Maul Architecture has designed an addition, dubbed the Artisan Barn, to a historic barn in Uniontown, Washington. The existing space currently houses studio, performance and gallery areas for artists, along with a gift shop. Materials will be salvaged from an onsite Loafing Shed to create a new classroom onto the existing barn structure. Additionally, Hutchison & Maul will assist in designing a master plan that will integrate landscape and outdoor performance spaces into the surrounding area.

Continue after the break for the architects’ description.

Bainbridge Island Museum of Art / Coates Design Architects

Courtesy of

Located on a prominent corner of Bainbridge Island, , the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art is not only the anchor tenant of the Island Gateway development, but it will soon become the cultural center of its community. Designed by Coates Design Architects, an inspiring and creative experience is provided to residents and visitors alike. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Francis Gregory Library / Adjaye Associates

© Edmund Sumner

Architects: Adjaye Associates
Location: Washington, DC,
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Edmund Sumner