OPEN SOURCE – URBAN INTERVENTION – SEATTLE, WA
With Michelle Arab Studio and O’Brien Company
As part of the Next 50 celebration of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and Its Legacy, this design ideas competition invites designers to conceive a fresh vision of environmental, social and economic opportunities on and beyond a 9-acre site at the heart of Seattle Center.
We envision an open network of spaces and built-form that fosters discovery, inspiration and dialogue, without limits on use and encouraging collaboration and change.
We propose a cultivated landscape that celebrates natural ecology and sustainable practices. Native planting, vernal wetlands, wildflower gardens, orchards and nurseries create a layered sequence of biotypes which evolve through the seasons and over time – both ecologically and programmatically.
The primary site gathering spaces create interactive venues for communal action, celebration and invention, while the gardens and nurseries offer spaces for intimate engagement and discovery. The open-frame building, inspired by Salish long-houses, is a more intensive venue for community engagement and dialogue: flexible studios, rehearsal and artist-residency spaces form a cultural incubator, while vertical gardens and a living machine create an evolving ecological laboratory. Moving up and over the green-roof promenade, visitors actively reconnect with the surrounding campus and city beyond.
The Transit Center creates a convergence point and strengthens connections with the campus and the region. August Wilson Way becomes the campus’s primary arts & culture artery, fostering community outreach and engagement. Salish Way creates a dynamic campus entry focused on sustainable agriculture and exchange.
Our Living Site creates three intertwined natural cycles: Water, Energy, and Nutrients. Wetlands with vernal pools and water retention capture all rainwater from the site and adjoining upstream sites for reuse or infiltration back into the natural system. Solar and geo-exchange systems supply all necessary site energy. The cultivated landscape, vertical gardens, and living machine provide nutrient regeneration and sustainable systems demonstration.