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Knowlton School Digital LibraryWorkSeattle Central Library [743]

Seattle Central Library


Related people
Rem Koolhaas (was created by)
Office for Metropolitan Architecture (was created by)
Kevin Bruce Decker (was created by)
Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) (architect)
Rem Koolhaas (architect)
Date
1999-2004 (creation)
Location
North and Central America->United States->Washington->Seattle
North and Central America->United States->Washington->Seattle
Description
Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus of the Dutch firm Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), working in conjunction with the Seattle firm LMN Architects, served as the building's principal architects. Hoffman Construction Company of Portland, Oregon was the general contractor. In 2007, the building was voted #108 on the American Institute of Architects' list of Americans' 150 favorite structures in the US. It was one of two Seattle buildings included on the list of 150 structures, the other being Safeco Field. The 362,987 square foot public library can hold about 1.45 million books and other materials, features underground public parking for 143 vehicles, and includes over 400 computers open to the public. The 111.9 million-dollar Central Library for the Seattle Public Library system is a glass and steel structure located in downtown Seattle at 1000 Fourth Ave. The building occupies a city block and was designed to be open and translucent. When viewed from street level, activities on every floor of the library are visible. "Other notable architectural features visible from the street include: Steel grids supporting glass between a series of "floating platforms" -- or levels --that make the building a marked departure from the typical urban high-rise; a unique overhang covering the entry on the Fourth Avenue side of the library, which also features a garden area with trees, grasses and "The Fountain of Wisdom" created by the late Seattle artist George Tsutakawa; a diagonal grid system designed to protect against earthquake or wind damage and metal mesh embedded in glass layers to reduce heat and glare." -- Seattle Public Library web site. The program consists of a 412,000 square-foot central library including a library headquarters/office space, reading room, book spiral, "mixing chamber"/reference area, meeting space, "living room", staff floor, children's collection, auditorium, and parking.
Style/Period
Modernist (AAT)
Material
steel
glass
concrete
Measurements
185 ft ()
Source
Howeler, E. (2004). Optimized Envelopes: Seattle Central Library's Structural Skin. Praxis: Journal of Writing + Building, 1(6): 62-69.