After finals, I went to visit Seattle. My friend had flew up a week earlier to start a new job, and I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to explore the city. I spent Memorial Day Weekend there (05/22-05/27) and I can honestly say, it was an amazing experience. Seattle’s fight against the status quo, unique architectural character, and diversity is so refreshing to see. So was Seattle’s weather! That weekend’s forecast averaged around the mid-50s, for summer, with overcast skies, but cool air. I’ve never been anywhere near that cold; the coldest Honolulu gets is in the 70s. However, Hawaii has trade winds, so it feels a lot colder here than it actually is when the wind chills your bones. One of the first things we did was go to see Pike’s Place!
Then…the Space Needle!
They had panoramic cameras at the observatory, and you could slide your ticket in one of the machines to take your picture. Later, you can retrieve the pictures as you’re leaving by scanning the ticket you used in one their machines near the exit, and emailing it to yourself. Next door to the Space Needle is the Chihuly Glass and Garden Museum. It housed works of Chihuly, a glass blowing artist from the Washington State– and it was BEAUTIFUL. The Space Needle was something we did because, hey, we’re tourists, but the Chihuly is a MUST see.
There’s two components of the Chihuly: the indoor museum and the glass garden. See from the photo above the Space Needle on the left side? It’s that close to each other! Sooo if you’re ever in Seattle, just pop into both to get a sense of what the city has to offer.
We also saw the EMP Museum. We did not go inside, but as an architecture student, it was something I wanted to see. I’ve heard a lot of criticisms regarding Gehry’s works–but after this work, I gained an appreciation and understanding of his style. When you’re right next to it, the first thing you observe, is that its scale is HUGE. And it’s interesting. The reflective surfaces, the transient colors, and just the sheer unpredictability of it. Unlike other common buildings, it’s not obvious, at the human scale, the movement of the piece. Its not symmetrical, and something at one facade will definitely not be replicated on the other side. Every part of it is a surprise, a modification of something a few feet next to it. I can only imagine what it looks from the inside– how it EXPERIENCES from the inside.
Another thing that is beautiful about Seattle is the nature. Washington is a beautiful state– I can’t wait to visit other states in the Pacific NW.
Interior shots of the library: One thing I found interesting about this work was that it was designed not to only have ‘form’ but to maximize the amount of natural sunlight coming into the library. Joshua Prince-Ramus (OMA) did a great talk at TED about the design on the space. Another friend of mine has put it this way: “No wonder people of Seattle are so smart.” They have a wealth of knowledge and access to information at the center of their city. Lastly, these following pictures are just various shots of the unique architectural scene of Seattle. Of course, it is not all-encompassing and not a thorough analysis of what’s in the city, but rather, a narrow snapshot taken on some of my travels. Seattle was an amazing city, and I can’t wait till I get another opportunity to visit again.