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Olympic Sculpture Park’s big fat ugly new neighbor

There is a much maligned development planned on the northern adjoining lot to the Olympic Sculpture Park. People are generally pissed off about the addition. The main complaints are that the building’s planned stature would interfere with the current ambiance and balance of the OSP. I’d  have to agree, but have accepted that this is life and a fact of the piss poor state of modern day architecture.

The current structure was constructed in 1939 as a cigar warehouse. Today, it provides my eyes with an palatable beige barrier distinguishing the visual weight of the waves from  the encroaching 1980’s Houston architecture of the  office tower lumbering behind it.

photo courtesy TheStranger

The Seattle Times did a great job of mocking up the development. Their article is surely worth a read and gives insight into the groups who are fighting the encroachment. Only time will tell if the groups are successfully able to persuade the developers muster up some as of yet unseen architectural creativity.




2 Comments on "Olympic Sculpture Park’s big fat ugly new neighbor"

  1. I tend to be pretty sympathetic to new development since I like urban living but looking through the design proposal for this thing it is just so damn horrible. Its like they tried to make it look bland just to contrast it with the beauty of the Sculpture Park. I really hope these people are successful in their attempt to stop/change this project.

  2. I don’t think there could be a design for this site that would please everyone, but they’ve done a pretty good job with this. They tried some bolder formal elements and material colors but the DRB and everyone involved agreed that it would be better if toned down. It will have fritted glass like the Western facade of Paccar Pavilion, and the vertical trellis pilasters are a very nice touch. The old warehouse/garage was a very nice backdrop, agreed, but no one bothered to buy the development rights. A potential positive effect will be that it puts eyes on the park at night; perhaps SAM will consider keeping the park, or a portion of it, open later year round. And is it really that much worse than the Airborne Express building thats in the background now?

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