The New Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture

Visiting the new Burke Museum designed by the architecture firm of Olson Kundig, I had intended to draw the lobby spaces. Instead, I was drawn to the rather large mastodon situated in the lower entrance floor, along with the skeleton of a Baird’s Beak Whale. It was difficult to capture the skeletal volume that had been stripped of muscle and sinew. Below is the result of another, freer attempt from a slightly better point of view.

KeyArena

The iconic roof structure of KeyArena on the Seattle Center grounds will be the only remaining part of the original coliseum after it is redeveloped into an NHL and NBA venue. Because the ongoing excavation is lowering the ground level beneath the existing footings, a network of temporary steel supports is necessary to hold up the roof structure until new foundations can be placed. Now called the Seattle Center Arena, the coliseum is scheduled to open in the spring of 2021, in time for the new Seattle NHL franchise. Oak View Group is the developer for the project; Populous is the architecture firm; and Mortenson is the general contractor.

Paul Thiry designed the original structure, the Washington State Pavilion for the 1962 World’s Fair—the Century 21 Exposition. It was soon renamed the Seattle Center Coliseum, which served as a venue for sports, concerts, and other entertainment over the decades. In 1994–95, NBBJ-designed a renovation to bring the coliseum up to NBA standards and and naming rights were sold to KeyBank, which renamed the coliseum KeyArena. Notably, the coliseum was the home of the Seattle SuperSonics before the team’s sale in 2006 and ultimate move to Oklahoma City in 2008.

This second drawing of the arena’s roof structure is from a slightly different point of view and strips away much of the surrounding activity to focus primarily on the shell.

A View Up Pike Street

This is the arched vault of steel and glass that spans the one-block section of Pike Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. On the right are entrances to the Washington State Convention Center. The difficulty here is conveying the transparency of the span. I first drew both the transparent plane in front as well as what one sees beyond, lightly, with broken lines. I then reinforced the framing elements of the vertical glazing to bring them forward.

Here is a view that I sketched 4 years ago, looking down Pike Street in the opposite direction.

DeConstructing the Viaduct: Part V

After my last post, I remembered that the north end of the Alaskan Way Viaduct is still in the process of being dismantled. This is a view where the viaduct used to pass over Elliott Avenue before descending into the Battery Street Tunnel, which is now filled with the debris and rubble from sections of the torn down viaduct. 

Another Look Back…

In my very first post on this site in February 2012, I showed a composite of two sketches I had done of the Spanish Steps in Rome. Here I am posting the full views of each drawing.

The first is from the summer of 1965, when I was fortunate to have had, through an ACSA exchange program, an internship with Wilson & Womersley, an architectural and town planning firm with offices on Bedford Square in London. At the end of the summer, armed with a Eurail Pass, I traveled around Europe for a couple of weeks. I did a few sketches on site, but not as many as I would have liked. The only one I still have in my possession is this view of the Spanish Steps in Rome, drawn with a fountain pen with a stub nib.

This is another drawing of the same site from 2000, the first time I had the privilege of teaching in the University of Washington’s Architecture in Rome program. Similar viewpoints but drawn 35 years apart with different nibs and separated by a lifetime of experiences.

Cors & Wegener Building

One of the significant historic buildings within the Ballard Avenue Landmark District is this neoclassically detailed brick structure, constructed in 1893 for William Cors and Robert E. Wegener. They were the proprietors of the Ballard Wine House who considered themselves to be “artists in compound mixtures and fancy beverages.” The former saloon is situated at the corner of Ballard Avenue NW and 20th Avenue NW, along the main commercial street when Ballard was its own city, before being annexed by Seattle in 1907.

Eagle’s Spirit Totem

Having some time between recent doctor appointments at the UW Medicine’s Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, I drew this totem created by master Tsimshian carver David Boxley as a tribute to his sister-in-law Cindy Sue James (1965-2016). Dedicated May 6, 2007, the totem honors her legacy and pays tribute to all cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers.

The top figure is the Eagle, or Laxskiik, of the Tsimshian Nation. Below is a shaman wearing a bear-claw headdress and representing doctors and caregivers battling cancer. At the base is Cindy Sue, serving as the foundation for her family and tenderly clutching the shoulders of her grandson, Dominic, 7, “the light of her life, from the day he was born.”