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Pike Place Park/Structure - Toward A Hybrid Morphology of Architecture, Landscape, and Urban Infrastructure
Shoji Kaneko, Student ASLA

University of Washington
Advisor: Jeff Hou and Julie Johnson, ASLA

The main goal of this project is to create a park/structure that provides multiple accessibilities and diverse programs for the Pike Place/Aquarium Redevelopment Area in Central Waterfront of downtown Seattle. I focused on creating a new landform that unifies the Pike Place by responding to the topographical site condition as well as the surrounding superposition of natural and cultural layers. Because of my architectural background, I primarily wished to design an urban public space that strongly associates with the building structures. My design reshapes the existing ground and constructs a new landscape together with architectural volumes to provide new connections, destinations and accessibilities between downtown and the waterfront. This enables pedestrian to flexibly interweave on the landscape surface, but at the same time, people can walk under, over or across the ground planes into interior volumes. Throughout the design process, I explored an urban design strategy for creating urban public open space by combining the strength of the interdisciplinary manners of architecture and landscape architecture.

Project Location
The site that I focus on is from the Victor Steinbrueck Park that sits just north of the Pike Place Market towards the Seattle Aquarium located on pier 59, which the City of Seattle calls as the Pike Place / Aquarium Redevelopment Area.

Project Scope and Size
This project explores a new urban design strategy for assimilating a new kind of park that is hybrid in its system and incorporates multiple aspects that the park is composed of - public opens paces, architectural functionality, and infrastructure as a new transportation system – in order to revitalize the Pike Place Area in Seattle Central Waterfront.
The approximate size of the park/structure is 27 acres.

Site and Context
The Pike Place / Aquarium Redevelopment Area is one of the main hubs that are unique and have strong vitality as the city’s points of interest. It provides different types of activities as a recreational corridor for the city: visitors can enjoy staying along the waterfront by shopping, eating, sightseeing, and taking ferry trips from the piers. For the office workers in downtown area, it offers a valuable opportunity to get away from the artificial and dense bustle of the city.

As one of the main transportation system in the city today, the Viaduct (SR99) continues to be a main north-south route through the city that carries traffics traveling through downtown. It does serve an important function, but the structure of the viaduct restricts potentials to connect the city to the waterfront. Since the Nisqually earthquake struck Seattle in 2001, the Alaskan Way Viaduct along the waterfront was irreparably damaged and thus it needs to be replaced. The city has decided to take the tunnel alternative option for the replacement of SR99, and the city is now continuing their tasks on the project according to this option for the new vision of the waterfront design. With the viaduct gone, views and accessibilities to and from the waterfront, which currently obstructed by the viaduct, would be dramatically opened up for the first time since the early 1950’s.

By taking the highest advantage of this tunnel alternative for the viaduct’s replacement, the main design strategy that I take is to create a park/structure that offers multiple accessibilities that connect the waterfront with the city, and programming diverse activities and events that provides users with multiple reasons to visit, use, and stay. By taking the physical, cultural and functional contexts of the site, the new park/structure design challenges to convert them into a set of new programs for creating a vital hub for the new Pike Place District.

Design Programs and Strategies
Form: Continuous Tilted Planes
-Craft a landscape form with continuous planes that provides pedestrian with multiple connections between the two levels of Pike Place and the waterfront

-Create cross-functional park/structure that allows both active and passive activities and events to happen simultaneously in one convergence, rather than separating or isolating them spatially
-Maximize the spatial volumes underneath the park surface, and above the tunnel, in order to make good use of architectural strength that contributes to cross-functionalism

Accessibility and Destination
-Multiply the destinations and accessibilities throughout the park/structure so that the visitors could not only take different routes to walk through the site but also could have multiple reasons to come to the park and stay

Pedestrian, Vehicular and Water Flow
-Improve the circulations of the three main flows: pedestrian, vehicular, and water
-Allow pedestrian to have multiple ways to get down from the Pike Place to the waterfront in a safe way
-Provide the adequate amount of parking lots underneath the landscape surface, and create organized vehicular access points from both Alaskan Way and Western Avenue.
-Generate water circulation and retention system for delaying the surface water flow
-Reveal the movements of water as a recreational and educational tool

-Blur the edge of interior and exterior volumes, with combining strategic design approaches of architecture and landscape architecture in order to create a series of cross-functional spaces

Ecological Issues
-Provide a continuous vegetated landscape surface that could serve important function as an urban green park/structure in downtown Seattle
-Create diversity of vegetation in different zones and elevations to provide a series of different experiences of interacting with nature-Generate a chain of water circulations and water retention system for delaying the surface water flow in order to prevent the frequent combined surface overflow (CSO) events.



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