Archive for April, 2008

A Better Reason For Twin Towers

In Seattle, there has been a recent trend toward developing twin towers that appears to driven, at least in part, by the new downtown zoning code. But the twin towers of the newly opened Bahrain World Trade Center have a much worthy raison d’etre: wind power generation.
As can be seen in the image above, [...]

The Dalai Lama Needs Some Architecty Glasses

[ From left: The Dalai Lama, "Junior Soprano," "Morty Seinfeld," Le Corbusier, David Hewitt ]
Something about all that real estate, especially when it extends so far below the eyes, tends to make people look goofy or dim-witted or both. There must be some universal law of design and proportion [...]

What’s Wrong With Four Stories?

Christopher Alexander has a thing for four-story buildings (see the Pattern Language). And who wouldn’t agree that it’s a great to maintain a direct connection to the street — connection as in, you could shout up and ask your girlfriend to throw down the keys. But in today’s cities, does it make sense [...]

Street Walls

I’m the kind of guy who gets excited about street walls. Like the beaut shown above, newly formed by the Trace Condo building along the east side of 12th Ave between Pike and Union on Capitol Hill. At six stories, it’s just the right scale to give a medium-width street like 12th Ave [...]

The Hole Grows Deeper

The huge hole is right on track to become a new QFC underneath nearly 300 residential units at the corner of 58tht and 24th in Ballard. Strangely enough, the recently completed yuppie projects nearby such as NO-MA and Canal Station are selling, even with 1 bedrooms between 350K and 400K. [...]

Choose Your WaMu

[ Photo: Dan Bertolet ]

Some Rules Are Begging To Be Broken

Shown in the elevation above is the six-story mixed use building that has been proposed for the southwest corner of 23rd and Union in the Central District. The project was approved by the Design Review Board on April 2, but still needs City Council sign off on a contract rezone to raise the height [...]

“We Don’t Know How to Get There”

This morning I attended a breakfast meeting put on by the Urban Land Institute featuring a presentation by Ewe Brandes on their recently published book “Growing Cooler,” which details the relationship between housing density and greenhouse gas emissions (see related post here). The room was filled with the likes of Diane Sugimura and Joe Tovar, [...]

Terminal 46 Has Arisen, Not So Much

I had a premonition. Terminal 46 has been pulled back out of the memory hole by the folks who want to bring us “Emerald City Center.” They don’t have any land or funding, but they think Terminal 46 would make a dandy location for the multi-sports and cultural complex rendered above. Oh, [...]

What’s Even Huger Than Hugeass?

[ "Hydropolis," assembled in Germany, shipped to Dubai, will be the world's first underwater hotel. ]
Dubai. Yep, you’ve heard about it, but you best be taking a look at this astounding summary.
Alas, Dubai, apparently your 3400-foot Al Burj tower won’t be the tallest for very long. “Mile High Tower” is coming to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  [...]

What it Takes

Velib – Paris’ “Bicycle Transit System”
San Francisco is finally getting around to updating its 1997 bike plan. It plans to add 34 miles of bike lanes, almost doubling what it currently has. And to do it, they are looking at removing curbside parking and traffic lanes in some cases. That’s what it takes to make [...]

Seattle Takes a Step Toward GHG Regulation

In past posts I’ve been critical of Seattle’s progress toward mandating green development, so I can’t let this pass: As of yesterday, Seattle will require greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions evaluations for every project large enough to trigger a SEPA review. (Residential projects with four units or less, and commercial projects 4000 square feet [...]