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Pike & Virginia

Pike & Virginia Building

Seattle, Washington

Pike & Virginia Building

Seattle, Washington

  • Design Principal

    Jim Olson

This mixed-use project was the first new construction in the Pike Place Market historic district in 50 years. As such, the building was designed to meet the strict urban design guidelines prescribed by the Pike Place Market Historical Commission and the Preservation Development Authority. The massing is composed of two primary elements: a six-story primarily residential block, and a three-story residential block with street-level retail space.

Conceptually, the building is designed to engage the city through visual connections to the skyline and the waterfront, as well as material references to the sympathetically modern early 20th-century farmer’s market and industrial buildings surrounding it. Formally, the building is conceived as a concrete frame within which a series of glass boxes is set.

The distinctions between the two materials are intentional and direct. Recessed floor-to-ceiling glass window walls on the primary street facade reinforce the predominance of this simple, yet strong formal arrangement. Large, floor-to-ceiling sliding doors connect the interior spaces directly to the exterior. This connection is especially clear on the top floors of each block where gardens bring the rich Northwest landscape into the interiors. Simple in the use of materials, the building strives to fit into its context while making aesthetic connections to its surroundings and exploiting interior/exterior relationships.

I love Seattle and its history. Here, we’re in the middle of the city’s hustle‑bustle, yet are a part of the old market and other historic landmarks. Jim Olson, FAIA

Team