#1. Seattle Central Library

Project cost: $159 million ($104 million construction cost)

The Central Library features five main platforms for its primary library functions.
Image courtesy of LMN Architects

Project address:
1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle

Start of construction: Aug. 31, 2001

Expected completion date:
Late 2003

Seattle Public Library

Seattle's new Central Library is a marked departure from the typical symmetrically stacked high rise. It features 11 floors that span five main "platforms" or levels that are designated for primary library functions.

Between the platforms are areas that appear to float. These in-between spaces will house public uses, such as a children's room and a socially interactive space called the "living room."

The 355,000-square-foot building will be covered by steel tubing sandwiched between two layers of glass. The tubing will act like diagonal braces and provide lateral support to manage earthquakes and wind loads. Tinted glass will be used where it is needed to reduce solar gain.

A 275-seat auditorium, the building's centerpiece, will connect the two main entry levels of the building, at Fourth and Fifth avenues. Elevators and escalators will be located on either side of the auditorium.

The building's unique overhang will cover the entire boundary on the Fourth Avenue side, including a garden with evergreen trees and a fountain.


GC/CM contractor:
Hoffman Construction Co. of Washington, 1200 Westlake Ave. N., Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98109, (206) 286-6697

Design architect:
Rem Koolhaas, Office For Metropolitan Architecture, Heer Bokelweg 149, 3032-AD Rotterdam, Netherlands, phone: 31-10-243-8200

Associate architect:
LMN Architects, 801 Second Ave., Seattle, WA 98104, (206) 682-3460

Other Participants
Bomel Construction Co. Inc.
Bruce Mau Design
Davis Langdon Adamson
Dewhurst MacFarlane & Partners Inc.
Drill Tech Drilling & Shoring Inc.
Golder Associates
Herzog Glass Inc.
HKA Elevator Consultants Inc.
Jones & Jones
Kugler Tillotson Associates
Lara Swimmer Photography
McGuire Associates
Michael Yantis Associates
Ming Surveyors Inc.
Ove Arup & Partners
Pielow Fair Associates
Reprographics Northwest Inc.
RW Rhine Inc.
The Seneca Group
Schindler Elevator Corp.
Seele LP
Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire Inc.
Thyssen Sound Elevator

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