Why is it the first image that comes to mind, when we think about “public space”, is a vast open and uncovered surface?
No matter where or which elements (natural or artificial) make this surface, this is the typological notion we all have. Perhaps we should start here, redefining how we first think and imagine public places.
The new urban intervention for the Seattle Center is not just about public space, it’s about public infrastructure. We envision a multi-layered open space: an urban forest. This forest is designed to be a catalyst for diversity, a space that enables an infinite amount of possibilities. The 9-acre site becomes a two-story forest which multiplies the capacity for civic engagement and strives to meet the challenges of the future.
65 feet above the ground is a floating forest, a naturally forested area which offers different views of the campus and the downtown skyline amidst a natural environment. Supporting the green roof are a series of columns: an artificial forest that allows endless connections through the site and acts as a framework for new and unexpected activities. At the center of the site, a sloping surface helps connect the two levels and acts as an amphitheater, and a performance space for community events. Elevated paths weave their way through the columns, triggering diverse connections that journey through different atmospheres.