Contemporary design that respects the historic character and structures of a beloved city icon
This first addition to iconic Pike Place Market in over 40 years replaces an existing surface parking lot left vacant since a building burned down decades ago. New elements include a mix of low-income and senior residential, commercial/retail, office space and underground parking carved into the hillside on the west side of Western Avenue directly below the Market. Known as MarketFront, the location will be a critical connection point to the new Seattle waterfront plan by landscape architecture firm James Corner Field Operations to be developed following removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct in 2019.
Understandably, the opportunity to design for the oldest continuously operated public market in the country brought intense scrutiny and concern for any changes made to one of the city’s most authentic and treasured landmarks. The Market’s overarching goal was to meet the needs of its broad-based stakeholder community of vendors, residents and social service recipients, and to work collaboratively to integrate the addition with pedestrian connections to the soon to be revitalized waterfront. Technical challenges were many, as the site is located above an active railroad line and 100 year train old tunnel. Design rationale for the final concept followed from extensive community and stakeholder involvement, and significant evaluation and analyses of the physical, zoning code and regulatory constraints, Market Commission Guidelines, primary public views, pedestrian circulation patterns, massing studies, parking feasibility, and economic feasibility. New features include small retail shops and stalls, restaurant space, and an incredible new public view terrace with outdoor seating.
The responsibility of creating a prominently placed mixed-use building that respects the unique history and character of one of Seattle’s most familiar and beloved city icons was both daunting and exhilarating. Currently under construction and slated for completion in 2017, this long-time-coming addition links tradition and modernity to provide both locals and visitors with more of the culture and spirit of the Market they know and love.