Amazon’s Crazy Seattle Biodomes Get the Go-Ahead

West
Monday, November 4, 2013
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A night rendering of the Amazon biodomes (NBBJ).

A night rendering of the Amazon biodomes (NBBJ).

Seattle’s design review board has unanimously approved the three biodome scheme for the NBBJ-designed Amazon headquarters. The five-story building will include flexible brainstorming and work areas filled with plants and trees, while the ground level will include retail space and public viewing spots. Planned for the block is also an Amazon office tower of up to 38 stories, as well as a neighboring public park that will include a dog run area.

Continue reading after the jump.

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New homes in Palo Alto will need wiring for charging electric cars.  New homes in Palo Alto will need wiring for charging electric cars In Palo Alto, California, the city council recently approved a proposal (9-0) to alter the city’s building code, requiring new homes to install wiring for electric car charging stations. Pre-wiring for the 240-Volt Level 2 charging stations costs about $200, while many homes in the city sell for over $1 million. The proposal would also make it easier for homeowners to get permits to retrofit their homes for the charging stations. (Photo: Steve Jurvetson / Flickr) Read the full post

 

Pictorial> Amazon Domes 2.0 in Seattle by NBBJ

Pictorial, West
Thursday, October 3, 2013
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(Courtesy NBBJ)

(Courtesy NBBJ)

As AN reported in our latest West Coast issue, designs for the Amazon headquarters in downtown Seattle have gone through another revision since this past May. Though still channeling greenhouses and conservatories, renderings reveal an update to the three interconnected domes on Block 19 that architecture firm NBBJ has dubbed “conjoined Catalan spheres.” With a skin of white painted steel, the new design has moved beyond more traditional cross-hatching, and now nods to the pentagons of a soccer ball. But these forms are expanded and pushed to create an irregular pattern that exerts a more organic geometry. Read more about the project in AN‘s article or check out an expanded gallery of renderings below.

View a gallery of renderings after the jump.

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Arquitectonica Adds a Pair of Towers to San Francisco’s Growing Rincon Hill Neighborhood

West
Friday, June 28, 2013
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LUMINA - 201 Folsom Street in San Francisco. (Courtesy Tishman Speyer)

LUMINA – 201 Folsom Street in San Francisco. (Courtesy Tishman Speyer)

In 2005, San Francisco officials rezoned Rincon Hill, a neighborhood close to the Financial District, to allow for high-density housing. Since then, residential developments have popped up, including The Infinity, One Rincon Hill, and the under construction 45 Lansing Street, in an area that was once a maritime and industrial hub.

The newest, Tishman Speyer and China Vanke’s LUMINA, at 201 Folsom Street, broke ground this Wednesday. The Arquitectonica-designed development will add 655 condos to the Rincon Hill neighborhood, with views of the city and bay. The residence—two towers (the tallest at 42 stories) and two mid-rise buildings arranged along a courtyard—will have luxury amenities like floor-to-celing windows, a full service sky terrace, and a three-story clubhouse with a pool. Expected completion for the project is spring 2015.

Portland State University Launches Center for Public Interest Design.  Portland State University Launches Center for Public Interest Design A research center for public interest design—the first in the nation—has launched in Portland, Oregon. Helmed by Professor Sergio Palleroni at Portland State University, the Center for Public Interest Design examines and proposes affordable design projects for both emerging and established communities in need around the world. The center chiefly studies ways to improve global living conditions—addressing basic necessities such as shelter, water, and education—through a hands-on approach. Five inaugural projects range from modular classrooms to the Montesinos Orphanage and Environmental Technical School school in Haiti. More details here.

 

Proposed Biodomes for Amazon Bring Nature In for Brainstorming

West
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
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The proposed Amazon biodomes in downtown Seattle. (NBBJ / Seattle.gov)

The proposed Amazon biodomes in downtown Seattle. (NBBJ / Seattle.gov)

Amazon renderings released this week in a Seattle design review board meeting would have made the late Buckminster Fuller proud.  They reveal new plans for an additional structure on the proposed three-block, three-tower Amazon complex in downtown Seattle: three five-story conjoined biodomes up to 95 feet tall, with the largest 130 feet in diameter. These glass and steel domes, envisioned by local firm NBBJ, would provide 65,000 square feet of interior flex work and brainstorm areas for Amazon employees, while leaving abundant space to accommodate trees and diverse plantings. Inspiration came from nature found indoors—in greenhouses, conservatories, and convention centers around the world. From Renzo Piano’s “Bolla” in Genoa, to the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken in Brussels. (Fun fact: the largest dome in the United States—an indoor sports arena—is in fact in Washington State, in Tacoma, a city south of Seattle.)

Continue reading after the jump.

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Mithun Designs Ambitious Seattle Aquarium Expansion

Newsletter, West
Friday, May 10, 2013
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The proposed plan for the Seattle Aquarium expansion. (Courtesy Mithun / Seattle Aquarium)

The proposed plan for the Seattle Aquarium expansion. (Courtesy Mithun / Seattle Aquarium)

In its over 30 years resting on Pier 59, the Seattle Aquarium has undergone a series of complex renovations, including the restoration of the original 1905 pier (while staying open), and the addition of a 120,000-gallon marine life viewing tank that helps visitors feel like they are immersed in an octopus’ garden in the shade.

Continue reading after the jump.

We Have A Winner at UC Davis: “Grand Canopy”

West
Thursday, May 2, 2013
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SO - IL's Grand Canopy. (Courtesy SO - IL)

SO – IL’s Grand Canopy. (Courtesy SO – IL)

Last month AN reported that UC Davis had selected a shortlist for its Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. Well we have a winner: “Grand Canopy,” by  So – IL / Bohlin Cywinski Jackson/ Whiting-Turner. The design features a 50,000 square-foot floating steel canopy which weaves together exterior and interior space for galleries, exhibitions, concerts, art studios, as well as artists’ residencies.  Jurors selected the design from a shortlist of three finalists for its unusual incorporation of light, close connection to the UC Davis campus, as well as the ability to adapt and grow over time to the changing needs of its users–the students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The museum will occupy 1.6 acres on the southern edge of the UC Davis campus.Watch Florian Idenburg, design architect and partner for SO – IL, talk about the winning design (Joe Proudman/UC Davis).

A Digital Urban Earthwork in Seattle: Doug Aitken’s MIRROR Opens At The Seattle Art Museum

West
Friday, March 29, 2013
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This past Sunday evening, Seattle officials closed First Avenue. It wasn’t for road repairs, but to celebrate the unveiling of the Seattle Art Museum’s facade refresh by multimedia artist Doug Aitken. Two giant LCD screens projecting kaleidoscopic images of the Seattle region now wrap the north and west facade of the museum, with emanating vertical bands of lights.

Continue reading after the jump.

Seattle’s Gingerbread Village Keeps Holidays Alive

West
Thursday, January 3, 2013
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Hey Diddle Diddle: Weber Thompson, David Mestl (Ariel Rosenstock)

Hey Diddle Diddle: Weber Thompson, David Mestl (Ariel Rosenstock)

In case you still can’t let go of the holidays (we know, it’s not easy), take a look back at Seattle’s 21st annual gingerbread festival, which just closed at the city’s downtown Sheraton Hotel. Six local architecture firms partnered with the hotel’s culinary team to produce a dizzying array of giant candy-fied creations to benefit the the Northwest chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The theme this year was nursery rhymes, officially dubbed, “There’s a Rhyme and a Reason this Holiday Season”. (In case you missed it, last year’s theme was fairy tales.)

Among the highlights: a cow jumps over a moon above a whimsical winter village built from sweets and icing in “Hey Diddle Diddle” by firm Weber Thompson; an almost four-foot tall ship of gingerbread with marshmallow-like sails filled with marzipan sailors, white mice and a duck captain depict the plot from the rhyme “I Saw a Ship A-Sailing” by 4D Architects, Inc; and Jack and the beanstalk hover over the lower Queen Anne Seattle neighborhood–Space Needle and all (by Callison).

Castles galore at Seattle’s Gingerbread Village

West
Friday, December 21, 2012
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Brothers Grimm Castle of Fairy Tales. 4D Architects, Inc.; Banquet Chef Jay Sardeson (Ariel Rosenstock)

There are those famous pairings in life—cookies and milk, wine and cheese, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Lewis and Clark. But could there really be a better pairing than architects and chefs working together to create gingerbread houses?

In its 20th year running, Seattle area architecture firms and chefs at the downtown Sheraton Hotel teamed up for the holidays to build gingerbread houses benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Northwest Chapter. While last year’s theme featured iconic train stations around the world, this year’s theme took a more decidedly youthful and imaginative approach—“Once Upon a Time”—envisioning the castles and abodes of characters in popular children’s fiction in candy, icing, and gingerbread. Kids with type 1 diabetes volunteering with JDRF worked with the architecture firms, choosing the story titles for the six gingerbread houses: Alice and Wonderland, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Chronicles of Narnia, Grimm’s Fairytales, and The Little Mermaid. The whimsical, sugary interpretations sport characters crafted from marzipan, window glazing made from heated sugar, sour belts as roofing tiles, M&Ms as coining. The Brothers Grimm Castle of Fairytales even sports a working drawbridge. More houses below! Read More

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Highlights From Seattle Design Festival 2012

Newsletter, West
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
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Seattle Design Festival block; looking east. (Ariel Rosenstock)

Seattle Design Festival block; looking east. (Ariel Rosenstock)

Sure this month is Archtober in New York. But last month non-profit group Design in Public got things rolling when it hosted the second annual Seattle Design Festival. The weekend-long event showcased projects, promoted design, and featured discussions and panels. One notable highlight: a block in the South Lake Union neighborhood was taken over by transformed shipping containers housing various interior designs, a feedback space for comments on an upcoming design plan for Seattle, and a design product pop-up shop.

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