The Rainier Square Tower (59-story, 850 ft/ 259 m tall) in downtown Seattle, is getting off the ground, with its completion scheduled for early 2020.
Traditionally, a rebar-reinforced concrete core has been the preferred method of construction for Seattle’s towers. These cores are very good at bracing against wind and seismic loads. The construction process is slow, though: three to four days per floor, with the steel framing for each floor dependent on completion of the concrete work.
For Rainier Square Tower, a new steel plate & concrete composite fill design for its high-rise core is used. It has been developed by Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA) over many years. The system uses two steel plates connected by steel spacing ties, and then the cavity between the plates is filled with high-strength concrete. An added boon is that this method is expected to reduce traditional construction time by 30% or more.
I went down Denny Way to go check on the construction of a condominium tower called the Nexus today, just north and east of downtown. The construction boom is still going full-steam with dozens of downtown and South Lake Union projects only now getting off the ground.
The No 48 bus makes for an easy run up to the University (of Washington) District for me, and I did that today. (The main draw there for me is the big university bookstore, and the smaller second-hand bookstores, as well).
In another two years or so, the new Light Rail train station right there will be completed, and then I can take the train instead. That would be great!
I guess Seattle has many gleaming glass and steel towers nowadays, but the Seattle Tower is one of the city’s original art deco gems.
Its construction was completed in 1929, and at the time it was called the Northern Life Building.
We have had a streak of beautiful blue-sky days here in the city, reaching all of 72 °F (22 °C) on Tuesday. A high pressure system parked above the Pacific Northwest will give us even more clear weather days, all through the weekend, say the meteorologists.
I walked by the construction site of the ‘Building Cure’ today.
It’s here in downtown Seattle near Denny Way. It is the new building for Seattle Children’s Research Institute to expand into. The Institute’s scientists develop cures and therapies for childhood diseases such as cancers, sickle cell anemia and type 1 diabetes.
The Institute has grown from just 40 employees in 2006 to more than 1,500 today.
I lucked out and caught the last day when these LEGO ‘Americana Roadshow’ models were on display at Bellevue Square mall, last Sunday.
I don’t think I aspire to build giant LEGO models like these .. but maybe that is just because I don’t have hundreds of thousands of bricks to work with!
The mercury hit 90°F (32°C) here in the city today, and I waited for the fireball in the sky to sit a little lower, before I ventured out on my usual South Lake Union walkabout. Here are some pictures.
My ‘Townhouse Triple’ used up the last of my windows and white brick stock.
This illustrates the LEGO builder’s dilemma: which creations should one keep on permanent display, and which should one break down (to free the bricks for something else)?
Update 7/22: Here’s an updated model with an improved rooftop.
I spotted a building on Saturday at the street food fair on 8th Ave, that had a striking glass-faced box (picture below). So I looked up the design drawing for it (on seattleinprogress.com).
I see there is another woonerf in the making, next to it. (At least one more is planned for 12th Ave). Woonerf (pronounce VONE-erf) is a Dutch word, for a street with park-like surroundings, that is shared by pedestrians, cyclists, and cars (driving slowly).
My walkabout today was in South Lake Union, the area next to Seattle’s downtown that is a booming hub for Amazon, Google and the biotech industry. The new Denny Substation and duct banks under the streets (for power distribution) are scheduled for completion in late summer.
It was a brisk 44°F/ 6 °C in the University District this morning at 10 am, where I was this morning. The storm we had on Sunday night was gone. It brought down a little hail at my house, and a thunderbolt so loud, and so close, that it rattled the windows and the glasses up in my kitchen cabinet.
I read a description today of an ‘Eero Saarinen tulip base dining table with white marble top’ in an article about decorating. Well. Let’s find out what this table looks like, I thought. (Redeem myself a little from the cheap Ikea furniture I still have, by improving my designer furniture knowledge).
Saarinen (1910-1961) was a Finnish American architect and industrial designer, noted for his neo-futuristic style. I also learned that Saarinen was the architect of the Gateway Arch in St Louis.
I saw ‘Black Panther’ (more about it later) in the IMAX theater here in the Pacific Science Center today.
The Pacific Science Center was designed by Minoru Yamasaki for the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, and housed the United States Science Pavilion. It is located right by the city’s iconic Space Needle.
Yamasaki was born in Seattle in 1912, a second-generation immigrant. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1934, and became a very successful architect with his own firm in Seattle.
He was the architect of two prominent buildings in downtown Seattle: the IBM Building (1963) and Rainier Bank Tower (1977). His firm won the contract to design the St. Louis’ Pruitt-Igoe Housing Project in 1953, but the project ended in disaster. It was a big setback for his firm and for his reputation.