Latitude/Longitude: 47.6211, -122.352
Through the efforts of a public/private partnership, the City of Seattle has redeveloped the southern half of the International Fountain Plaza located in the heart of Seattle Center, the site of the 1962 World’s Fair and the home to the City’s most recognizable icon – The Space Needle. The Seattle Center’s 2000 Master Plan identified the importance of enriching the open space surrounding the International Fountain, the centerpiece of a two-city block Green in the heart of the Center.
The previous Flag Pavilion and Plaza, which this project replaced, sat as an isolated object along the southern edge of this Green and blocked the view from the nearby Charlotte Martin Children’s Theater to the Fountain. Opening up this view, along with the desire to not only replace but also to add square footage for Seattle Center events, led to a “subterranean” design solution in which the building is essentially pushed down into the ground and a new rooftop belvedere/plaza is created on top. The northern facade of the new Pavilion is glazed, and opens up onto the new Green with a series of roll-up garage doors, while the rooftop plaza above serves as a new vantage point looking out to the Fountain and Green. The Green itself was re-graded into a nearly two-acre bowl to accommodate the frequent large-scale festival gatherings hosted by the Center.
The new pavilion is over 14,000 S.F. of flat floor exhibition space with nearly twenty feet clear height intended for a wide variety of festivals, conferences, exhibitions and catered events. The unit pavers covering the 19,000 S.F. Rooftop Plaza, which is accessible on grade from the adjacent street, are designed in a pixelated matrix pattern to simulate an image of water droplets in a pond when viewed from the Space Needle above. Two concrete “pylons” with glazed canopies – designed to accommodate elevators and mechanical equipment – mark the entries into and onto the building.
⇒ Architecture Guide to SEATTLE-WASHINGTON