19 February 2009 | Posted inBlog News & Updates
Posted by Blake
Seattle, how to describe Seattle. Let’s start with its inspirational setting. Water, land, and air collide in every way imaginable, all within a short radius of Seattle’s center. Being situated in the midst of tectonic plate chaos has resulted in some magnificent mountains and volcanoes visible from all parts of the city. Being so far north has allowed for some incredible glacial cutting, effectively carving out the Puget Sound and many of the surrounding lakes. Then there’s ever lush vegetation fed through rain forest magnitudes of precipitation, which mixed with the unique chiseled topography creates the recipe for unequivocal beauty. This is why we live here and it is through this beauty that we draw our inspiration.
As for the day to day, we’ve adapted to the familiar sprinkle or mist and come to terms with it being cloudy or overcast more days a year than sunny. The sun sets by four in the winter, but, to apologize for its wrongdoing, it feeds us light until ten o’clock in the summer. Yes, all these rumors are true. We’re pretty far north, but being situated at the water’s edge keeps us fairly temperate. The summers are amazing, but short. In fact they start on Independence Day and end on Labor Day; not a day sooner, not a day later. We drink coffee, yes, lots of coffee. We supposedly read a lot, although I can’t confirm that. We listen to music, and have a formidable portfolio of Seattle grown artists.
We have our icon, the Space Needle, a residual relic from the 1962 World’s Fair. From the same fair, we have our Monorail which is begging to be put out of its 40 year old misery – until recently, emblematic of our broader transportation system. We do have light rail fighting its way into our lives; not quite there yet, but highly anticipated.
We have our headliner architecture here and there. Let’s start with a few Seattle 101 examples: OMA redefines the library as a building type with the Seattle Central Library. Frank Gehry designs the Experience Music Project using, as his concept, a smashed up guitar. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson helps to reinforce the architectural vocabulary of the Pacific Northwest through their beautifully detailed Ballard Library. And for our landscape enthusiasts, Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi connect city to water with the Olympic Sculpture Park. Of course there are many more. We’ll save them and any related critique for another time.