Bertha’s stuck and the under-construction Seattle viaduct is sinking

West
Thursday, January 8, 2015
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A new floor for the SR 99 tunnel (WSDOT Flickr)

A new floor for the SR 99 tunnel (WSDOT Flickr)

It looks like it’s bad news again for the in-progress Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel in Seattle, and for Bertha, the nickname for the world’s largest tunnel boring machine being used to create the underground highway. Bertha has been idle for much of 2014 due to a broken cutter system. And now the complex process to reach Bertha 60 feet below the surface has been halted. Recently a team of engineers discovered that the soil around Bertha is sinking as much as 1.4 inches in some places.

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With the holidays gone, we’re still ogling these six gingerbread houses by Seattle architects

West
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
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“O Christmas Tree" by Skanska/David Mestl (Ariel Rosenstock)

“O Christmas Tree” by Skanska/David Mestl (Ariel Rosenstock)

It was the warmest December on record in Seattle, but that didn’t stop local architects from designing their annual round of gingerbread houses at Christmas. The 2014 theme, “Jingle All the Way,” was inspired by holiday songs, with donations raised during the event (as in years past) going to the JDRF Northwest Chapter.

Continue reading after the jump.

Seattle opens its first Downtown parklet by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol

City Terrain, News, West
Monday, December 8, 2014
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Seattle's Chromer Building Parklet (GGN)

Seattle’s Chromer Building Parklet (GGN)

On December 3 Seattle opened its first Downtown parklet, at 1516 Second Avenue, a block from Pike Place Market. Designed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, built by Krekow Jennings, and funded by Urban Visions, the Chromer Building parklet is named for the distinctive red building—an early home to Amazon—that it fronts.

Continue reading after the jump.

November 11> Sustainability, Innovation, and More at Facades+ AM Seattle

Seattle's unique architectural culture has produced landmarks including the Seattle Art Museum, by Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, addition by Allied Works Architecture. (David Herrera / Flickr)

Seattle’s unique architectural culture has produced landmarks including the Seattle Art Museum, by Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, addition by Allied Works Architecture. (David Herrera / Flickr)

As AEC professionals who have practiced in different cities know, each place has its own unique architectural culture. That is one of the lessons Mic Patterson, VP of Strategic Development at Enclos, has learned during his years of involvement with the Facades+ conference series. “Instead of holding one annual conference, we’ve been doing three a year in different cities,” said Patterson. “My observation is that each of those has been different.” The newest event in the Facades+ stable, Facades+ AM, was inspired in part by a desire to bring the conversation about high performance facade design to more locales. The inaugural Facades+ AM four-hour program takes place next week in Seattle.

Continue reading after the jump.

Coming Soon to Seattle: Facades+ AM

Seattle will host the debut of Facades+ AM, a half-day continuing education event focused on building skins. (Roger Ward / Flickr)

Seattle will host the debut of Facades+ AM, a half-day continuing education event focused on building skins. (Roger Ward / Flickr)

Despite the fact that most state licensing boards require registered architects to pursue continuing education, not all AEC professionals take full advantage of the educational opportunities available. That’s a shame, says Mic Patterson, VP of Strategic Development for Enclos, given the value of the many workshops, seminar programs, and conferences aimed at practicing architects. The Facades+ conference series, co-sponsored by Enclos and AN, is one such offering. “The intent was to start a dialog involving the building skin that bridged the various fragmented sectors of the building industry,” said Patterson. “We’ve been very successful in doing that. Now I’m interested in taking this dialog to other locations.” Accordingly, Facades+ will launch a new initiative next month: Facades+ AM, a half-day forum debuting in Seattle on November 11.

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Seattle’s bike share program, Pronto, launches today!

Transportation, West
Monday, October 13, 2014
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A bike sharing station in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood. Bikes will be delivered on Monday. (Ariel Rosenstock)

Here’s one bike sharing station in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, with bikes coming Monday. (Ariel Rosenstock)

In the last few years, urban bike sharing has popped up all across the United States: in cities like Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Miami, San Francisco, and Chicago among others. Finally Seattle is getting it’s first bike sharing program, Pronto Cycle Share, today.

Continue reading after the jump.

Open Streets Events Rolling Out Across the Country This Summer

Summer Streets 2011 (New York City Department of Transportation/Flickr)

Summer Streets 2011 (New York City Department of Transportation/Flickr)

The Open Streets movement is a wildly popular tool in the Tactical Urbanist‘s arsenal. The concept is simple: shut down city streets to automobile traffic for a day so pedestrians and cyclists can fully utilize our most plentiful public spaces. Cities from New York to Los Angeles now celebrate their open spaces with programs that are about to kick off for the summer season. Here’s a roundup of some of the top programs around the country.

View upcoming open streets events after the jump.

Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of OMA’s Seattle Central Library with These 10 Great Photos

Architecture, Pictorial, West
Monday, June 2, 2014
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Seattle Public Library (Jeff Wheeler/Flickr)

Seattle Public Library (Jeff Wheeler/Flickr)

The Seattle Central Library celebrated its 10th anniversary this year on May 23rd with live music, free treats and refreshments, and guest appearances from some of the chief architects and minds behind the construction of the building. Regarded as the prize library of Seattle’s library system, the Seattle Central Library, designed by Rem Koolhaas’ OMA, has also garnered criticism and acclaim for its unique architectural design. To celebrate the decade, AN has compiled a collection of ten great photos that will give the online viewer a virtual tour of Seattle’s unique cathedral of reading.

Ten amazing photos of the library after the jump.

Seattle Aquarium Expansion Moving Forward

West
Monday, April 28, 2014
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The Seattle Aquarium (by Richard Eriksson via Flickr)

The Seattle Aquarium (Richard Eriksson via Flickr)

Although Seattle‘s Big Bertha—the giant tunnel boring machine powering the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel alongside Seattle’s waterfront—will be delayed until next March for repairs, the nearby Seattle Aquarium is moving steadily ahead with its plans for a major expansion. Read More

Before & After> Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Imagines a Pedestrian-Friendly Seattle

seattle-streetscape-01bseattle-streetscape-01a

The streets of downtown Seattle are set for a major overhaul, thanks to a new masterplan by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. As AN reported in our recent West Coast edition, the Seattle-based firm has made recommendations to improve the pedestrian realm “centers on uniting the fragmented parts of the Pike-Pine corridor, two major thoroughfares at the heart of the retail core running east-west from Interstate 5 to the waterfront.”

Check out their dramatic proposed transformations overlayed on Seattle’s existing streetscape for a better look at how pedestrians and cyclists will fare under the plan.

More after the jump.

Seattle’s Urban Gondola Could Handle the Equivalent of 150 Packed Buses a Day

West
Monday, March 31, 2014
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The proposed Union Street Aerial Gondola Project in downtown Seattle (Via Architecture)

The proposed Union Street Aerial Gondola Project in downtown Seattle (VIA Architecture)

Seattle’s monorail was unveiled in 1962 and it now carries 7,000 passengers per day on a one-mile track between the Space Needle just north of downtown and the center of the city. While plans were first proposed in 1997 to extend the monorail, they were scratched. But now another way to travel and see Seattle from the sky is being offered by Kyle Griffith, the owner and developer of the Seattle Great Wheel (that rests on Pier 57 on the waterfront): an urban gondola. Cities like Rio de Janeiro and Singapore have installed gondolas to great success, providing a more exciting way to commute and an unusual way to view the urban landscape below.

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PeopleForBikes Issues Green Light For Six Cities Seeking Improved Bike Infrastructure

A list of over 100 cities has been whittled down to six. PeopleForBikes has announced the latest cities that will be the focus of the 2014 iteration of the Green Lane Project, an initiative that promotes urban bike infrastructure.

More after the jump.

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