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.


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.