Wednesday, September 17, 2014

King Street Station--Finally

A series of restorations started in the 1940s removed ornamental plaster, marble walls and glass tiles

Since 2008, when the City of Seattle purchased King Street Station (Reed and Stern Architects, 1906) from BNSF we've been anxiously anticipating the big reveal of its restoration.  Finally, the Station has arrived and it's been worth waiting for.  

Six years and 55 million dollars later, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca has completed its renovations, including:

Seismic steel upgrades, which account for 42% of the $55 million cost
"Sixty-Five piles weighing 96 tons were installed inside and outside of the station.  These piles were tied into rebar cages inside the new foundation slabs.  Inside the station, 1,345 tons of steel have been installed.  These include new columns inserted into the perimeter walls on both sides of the brick-covered historic columns along with high strength grout and new steel wall plating, box columns of plate iron that reinforces the existing structural interior columns, and new beams and diaphragm bracing that have been welded to the original steel structure.  New shear walls have been added on multiple sides of the main waiting room. Steel floor plates have been added on levels two and three for additional wall and floor strengthening.  In the clock tower, parts of the floor on level nine have to be demolished so rusted steel beams can be replaced by new ones.  The entire clock tower is also receiving new cross bracing as well as new columns on all corners"
HVAC improvements include the addition of a geothermal well field and ground-source heat pumps for heating and cooling as well as roof and wall insulation, and natural ventilation in the main waiting room with operable windows restored

Repair of four clock towers

Amazing photos of work done on the clock tower:

Marcus R Donner, Puget Sound Business Journal

Marcus R Donner, Puget Sound Business Journal

Marcus R Donner, Puget Sound Business Journal

A new public plaza in a former parking lot now connects Pioneer Square to the station



Photo courtesy of  Washington State Dept of Transportation
Architects:  Reed and Stern

Accoustical panels and fluorescent lighting hid the ornate 1906 plasterwork behind a drop ceiling
(Photo courtesy of Washington State Dept of Transportation)


Majestic scale restored once more.

Photo above and below, courtesy AD Daily

Security lookout dwarfed by ornate ceiling panels

Balcony detail view from below
Gilded mosaic frieze:  another way of putting luxe shine into the interior

Highly ornamental:  Above the clock a locomotive printed on a transparent scrim

Light bounces from every surface above, enhanced by this beautiful chandelier

The spaces above the 45 foot high waiting room are available for rent

23,500 square feet of space on the second and third floors and a small amount of restaurant space on the first floor

Before and After photo album from Seattle Dept of Transportation available here

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Before the Light Fades Entirely: A Dialogue Involving Two Buildings Wholly Unconnected to the Community Around Them (and yet complete within themselves)

I had a dialogue with the ghost of John Graham Sr as I walked around this building on Sunday.
St Edwards Seminary, home to 214 students in its heyday, abandoned 300 feet above the north end of Lake Washington.  No one wants it anymore.  But there were so many people and their children here--strolling about the grounds.  Anyway, we talked about the Romanesque Style.  We talked in the fading light about

Rhythm Scale Light Axis Massing and a little bit about detail.

And then I went next door to Bastyr College and saw the garden, tried out the shiatsu footpath and observed 556 herbs being grown for medicinal purposes.  The village, housing 132 students in LEED Platinum Certified cottages, with no one about whatsoever and the architects Collins Woerman spoke to me, through their building, as architects often do,  about rain gardens and vegetative roofs.  We talked in the fading light about

Rhythm Scale Light Axis Massing and a little bit about detail.

And when I left I hoped they talked amongst themselves (the buildings, not Collins Woerman) because they both seemed rather lonely.