Beautiful Space Needle

See Seattle from 500 feet through the Space Needle’s rotating glass floor

The 605-foot Space Needle is the most iconic structure in Seattle. Built in 1962, and reportedly purchased by investors for $75,000, the landmark has an observation deck and revolving restaurant at 500 feet, where hundreds of daily visitors hunker down for 360-degree views of Seattle. Now, 56 years later, the Space Needle is unveiling a massive renovation, with many of the new spaces now open to visitors. Guests can also now “float” over Seattle 520 feet up via new Skyrisers by leaning into the tilting glass walls on the open-air deck for an angled vantage point.

worker sn

Loupe_KasinLoupe_Kasinger_3Loupe_Kasinger_2Loupe_Kasinger_800_7434.0

Those who have a fear of heights might not want to look down next time you go up to the Space Needle. One of the centerpieces of the landmark’s massive remodel, designed by Olson Kundig, is now complete: a rotating glass floor, allowing visitors to look down at the 500 feet between them and the ground.

1-Observation-Deck-Rendering-The-Century-Project-Image-by-MIR-Architectural-Design-by-Olson-Kundig-1260x1260

Called the Loupe, the Space Needle’s new floor gives a view not just of the people milling about below, but the inner workings of the building, giving the viewer a sense of what makes the Needle tick. Counter-weights and the insides of the elevator are both revealed.

The glass floor goes along with newly-open glass walls, doing away with a more closed-off design and adding glass benches that help give the illusion of floating above the city. All together, more than 176 tons of glass were used in the renovation.

As before, the rotating floor will be part of a restaurant—the exact concept is slated to be announced later this year—but for now, visitors can have a drink or a snack on that level at Atmos Wine Bar. Atmos Café is located on the second floor. Want a glass of water or wine with your meal? It’ll pair well with the glass tables, chairs, windows and rotating floor in the reimagined space. Dropping a fork in this place is going to be a newsworthy event!

2-The-Century-Project-Restaurant-Rendering-Image-by-MIR-Architectural-Design-by-Olson-Kundig-1008x12603-The-Century-Project-Observation-and-Restaurant-Level-Rendering-Image-Courtesy-of-Olson-Kundig-1260x969

8-The-Century-Project-Rendering-Image-Courtesy-of-Olson-Kundig-1260x11055-The-Century-Project-Rendering-Image-Courtesy-of-Olson-Kundig-1260x900

Beautiful Thoughts

Some days are easy going and good and somehow we arrive at the end of it a little wiser, happier, or maybe the same but unscathed.  Then there are days we question our very worth and sometimes we don’t even know or understand why we derailed off the happy train. It’s those days that we need the extra kindness of friends and strangers, a smile, an acknowledgement that you are seen and even valued. We need a beautiful sight, a flower, a tree, a child, a beautiful human, something funny, the water or the forest, or at least the memory of such.

puget sound 1

We need to give our smile to someone else because they may be feeling the same and need a little confirmation, a little love, too.  You can never know the complete affect your little act of kindness can have on the world. So today, as easy or as confusing as it may be, I choose to let the universe flow through me as a confirmation that life is beautiful. And,  I vow to let the people I love and the strangers I make eye contact with, feel valued and seen, and acknowledged. So I ask you to just smile at someone, make eye contact and say hi, you just never know!  Let’s be better humans!

Photo taken somewhere on Puget Sound between Kitsap and Seattle

Beautiful Workplace Design

GoCstudio re-imagines a century-old Seattle building to house digital product company

studio-office-seattle1

US architecture firm GoCstudio has created an open office for a growing tech company that features original brick and timber elements, along with new enclosures made of ebony-stained plywood.

gocstudio_seattle 2.jpg

The office is located within the upper floor of a 100-year-old building in Seattle‘s Capitol Hill district. Encompassing 14,000 square feet, the space serves as a second office for Substantial, a digital product studio.

gocstudio_seattle 3.jpg

The company had occupied a portion of the floor since 2013, and decided to take over the full story when its neighboring tenant moved out. Local firm GoCstudio was charged with overhauling the entire floor, to read as one unified space.

gocstudio_seattle 4.jpg

The challenge was to create a cohesive open-plan workspace which retained the feel of the original Substantial space and would maximize the existing character of the building – exposed brick walls, old-growth Douglas Fir beams and roof decking, and the beautiful warehouse-style window walls.

studio_5.jpg

The architects worked closely with the client to understand day-to-day operations, as well as the company’s love of hosting parties. Their research led to the conception of the office’s signature element: The Forum, an assembly area for social and business activities.

studio_6.jpg

A large aspect of Substantial’s working practice is the hosting of public and private events thus creating a large social space that could be multifunctional was an important factor in the design of the expansion.

studio_7.jpg

The social space was situated near the entry staircase and looks toward a large reception desk faced with a steel door from the old office. The room is illuminated by a large skylight.

studio_8

In the kitchen, the team installed two bars made of cross-laminated timber planks, along with several black dining tables with colorful chairs. Employees can be found working here throughout the day.

cstudio_9

Surrounding The Forum are conference rooms, with walls made of black-stained plywood and large panes of glass. Additional enclosures were inserted on the north side of the floor. A large portion of the office is given over to open areas with versatile workstations.

The space is filled with natural light, thanks to large floor-to-ceiling glass on three sides of the building. For the first time in many years, views are opened up through the building, from east to west.

studio_10

Other projects by GoCstudio include a low-lying winery that blends with Washington’s natural terrain, and a floating wooden sauna that can accommodate up to six people.
Project credits:
Architect: GoCstudio (Jon Gentry, Aimée O’Carroll)
Builder: Montlake Associates
Lighting Designer: KMJ Design, Kathy Justin
Owner: Substantial
Photography: by Kevin Scott
Read more 

 

Beautiful Seattle on a Grey Day?

…maybe not so much. You know it’s a grey day when your photo
doesn’t need a filter to convert from color to black and white.
Here’s to more rainbows and, hopefully sooner than later,
sunny days. The rain has to stop eventually, right?

spaceneedle.jpg

Beautiful Historic Homes

I love architecture and when I’m out-and-about I sometimes find myself stalking the neighborhood to check the latest and greatest home designs. With the building frenzy going on in Seattle and so many structures being torn down and replaced at such a rapid pace, I’m developing a new appreciation for the beauty of old homes and buildings. I’m personally a fan of modern design with the less is more approach but my heart holds a special place for authentic craftsman style homes in Seattle, the colorful Victorian homes in SF and Row Houses in DC. It amazes me how much residential architecture can define a city. Put them in a different location and they almost look silly. Hopefully more will be preserved so that a cities don’t lose their historic identity. Enjoy these images, one day they may become just that, an image.

San Francisco Victorians

sf1 sf2sf3 sf4 sf5 sf7

Row Houses of Washington, DC
Many of these are about 200 years older than the SF Victorians and 300 years older than the Seattle Craftsman Bungalows! Built long before western states even existed. Amazing they have survived.

dc-row-house1 dc-row-house2 colorful_townhouses drwilliambishops1878workingclassrentalhousesaugust21st2015 washingtonhouses-row-house-3exterior4x6200dpi

Seattle Craftsman Bungalows
With the Seattle building boom, sadly many of these are disappearing and being torn down only to be replaced with what I consider poorly designed modern homes and condos. I am a huge fan of well designed modern homes however the surrounding neighborhood and homes always need to be taken into consideration.

seattle-1 seattle 3.png   seattle-6 seattle-12 seattle-5

Beautiful Reupholstery Project

photo4
In a recent post
I gushed about my obsession with blue velvet and it just wasn’t going away so I decided to do something about it. Enter an old worn out but very comfortable chair that has been the favorite lounging spot for no less than 3 dogs along with numerous humanoids. Not one to let it go to waste, I decided to reupholster it in none other than a vintage blue velvet. Seattle has many wonderful places to shop but is very lackluster when it comes to fabric stores. Somebody please open a fabric warehouse, but I digress. This minor hitch gave me the perfect reason to visit MOOD in LA and lucky me I got there 15 minutes before they closed knowing exactly what I was looking for. Not realizing how huge it was I could have spent an entire day perusing the place if it weren’t for my single-mined journey to find the perfect blue velvet; albeit an affordable one.

photo1

These images are before photos. A couple of things I discovered about the reupholstery business is; as a profession they are in decline but the flip side to that is the ones who are still in it have a long backlog of work to do and it’s not something you can “speed up”. My chair is at least 8-10 out before I can post after photos unless I get lucky and find someone who can do it sooner than later. I am so excited to see the end result.

photo2

photo3