Adjacent to Ballard Branch Library No. 3 is the Greenfire Campus, a two-building complex comprising apartments, offices, and a restaurant. Johnston Architects designed the campus with two ideas in mind: “sensible sustainability and social sustainability.” The first refers to the goal of balancing cost and performance while employing active and passive methods for heating, cooling, and daylighting; saving and filtering water for reuse; and wrapping interior spaces with an energy-efficient envelope.
The second idea explores the means to enhance the interaction between human activities and the natural environment can, including building in the sharing of amenities and providing for areas devoted to urban agriculture.
Here is a brief video clip of my drawing process.
This is Ballard Branch Library No. 3, at the corner of NW 57th Street and 22nd Avenue NW. The library was designed by Bohlen, Cywinski, Jackson to incorporate community meeting rooms as well as a neighborhood center providing services for veterans and employment assistance. Construction on the library began in February 2004 and it was opened to the public in May 2005.
This building replaced the now demolished Ballard Branch Library No. 2, which itself replaced the 1904 Carnegie Free Library in Ballard, which I drew six years ago.
To mark International Left Handers Day, which celebrates the “uniqueness and differences” of left handers in a predominantly right-handed world, here is a sequence of six drawings showing how I constructed the interior view of St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral I posted a couple of weeks ago. I first established a corner where two adjoining planes meet, and transformed these planes into a volume with the addition of four columns. Then, over this 3D framework, I developed the details on the columns, pews, windows, ceiling patterns, light fixtures, and sanctuary.
When drawing in an urban setting, there is often a degree of tension between including the context for a building in a wide-angle view and capturing the character of a building up close. Here are two drawings of Seattle’s Firehouse No. 18 that illustrate these two points of view.
Designed by Bebb & Mendel for housing horse-drawn fire engines and built in 1911, Firehouse No. 18 was in continuous use for 63 years. After it was declared surplus property by the City of Seattle, it was acquired by Historic Seattle, which holds a preservation easement on the property. A designated Seattle Landmark and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the old firehouse is now home to the Hi-Life Restaurant.
Founded in 1980, the Nordic Heritage Museum occupied the former Daniel Webster Elementary School in a residential area of north Ballard before moving to its new home closer to downtown Ballard on May 5, 2018. The architectural firm of Mithun describes the central idea of their design thusly: “The new museum is organized around a linear ‘fjord’ that weaves together stories of homeland and the Nordic American experience. Bridges crossing the fjord intensify the experience of migration, connecting Nordic and Nordic American exhibits. A vertically-striated zinc skin wraps the building exterior; inside, fjord walls are composed of faceted white planes evoking its glacial origins.”
Below is an interior view of Fjord Hall, the central spine, along with a brief video clip of the process.
What in plan appears to be a logical mid-block pathway is often not so evident when seen at street level, especially when the pathway involves changes in direction and elevation amid a lot of vegetation. Here is a view of a pedestrian pathway that connects North 34th and North 35th Streets, drawn while sitting at The Masonry, sipping a beer, and looking north up toward A.B. Ernst Park.
The second view (and video) is from where an addition to A.B. Ernst Park is to be developed, looking down toward 34th Street, from where the first view was drawn.
When I entered the architecture program at the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 1961, my first freehand drawing course began with charcoal studies of plaster casts. Being young and naive, I didn’t fully appreciate the pedagogy behind these tasks, but in hindsight, I can see now that these studies helped promote looking closely at geometric forms, noticing how light illuminated and reflected off of their surfaces, and appreciating the resulting subtle gradations of value. And then the challenge was trying to capture these visual qualities with a charcoal stick, a paper stump for smoothing and blending, and a kneaded eraser for lightening and creating highlights.
The Coliseum was the first theater in Seattle built specifically to show motion pictures. Designed by B. Marcus Priteca, it opened on January 8, 1916, at the start of the silent-film era, with a showing of The Cheat, starring Fannie Ward and Sessue Hayakawa. An advertisement at the time called the theater “the world’s largest and finest photoplay palace.” It is just one of a series of vaudeville and motion picture theaters Priteca designed for the Alexander Pantages chain.
The Colesium continued operating as a movie theater until 1990. It sat idle until 1995, when Banana Republic transformed it into a clothing store. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also a City of Seattle Landmark.
Below is a short video clip of my drawing the view using the Procreate app on my iPad.
St. Demetrios is part of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America. The Greek Community Association established this parish in the Cascade neighborhood in the early 20th century and named it after an icon of Saint Demetrios of Thessaloniki. Several decades later, under the stewardship of Father Neketas Palassis, the parish developed plans for a new complex, which culminated in the construction of the current church in the Montlake neighborhood. It was dedicated on March 31, 1963.
This thin-shell concrete structure was designed by Paul Thiry, a pioneer of modernism in the Pacific Northwest who was a supervising architect for the 1962 Century 21 Exposition in Seattle. At the time of St. Demetrios’ completion, the magazine Architecture West praised how Thiry “adapt(ed) materials and techniques of the 20th Century to a church that follows early Greek Orthodox architectural forms, with interior spaces dictated by centuries old liturgical forms.”
With opening day for the 2018 MLB season approaching, I thought it might be appropriate to post these sketches of Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners. The stadium, designed by NBBJ and 360 Architecture along with the structural engineering firm of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, features a retractable roof that serves as an umbrella during inclement weather.
Although King County voters had initially turned down a proposal to fund a new baseball stadium to replace the aging Kingdome, the Mariners’ first appearance in the MLB postseason in 1995 and their victory in the American League Division Series reignited a public drive to keep the team in town. As a result, the Washington State Legislature approved an alternate means of funding comprising a mix of food and beverage taxes in King County restaurants and bars, car rental surcharges, a ballpark admissions tax, and sales of a special stadium license plate.
The stadium is often referred to as “The House that Griffey Built” because many believe major league baseball would not exist in Seattle without Ken Griffey, Jr.’s outstanding career with the Mariners. Griffey helped break ground for the new stadium in 1997 and a capacity crowd of 47,000 attended the Inaugural Game against the San Diego Padres on July 15, 1999.