Seattle City Hall was designed to support transparency of government while creating a welcoming place for the city’s residents.
The building’s glass and steel structure intersects the steeply sloping site between Fourth and Fifth Avenues, contrasting with terraced stone landforms that comprise its base. Water and sky slice through the block in a series of pools, cascades and skylights forming links to the other Civic Center buildings and to views of Puget Sound and the Olympic range.
The seven-story executive office block exhibits a dynamic display of curtain wall and sunshades, where each elevation responds to its solar orientation and surroundings. The curving south face opens to views of the city and Mount Rainier, echoing the titanium forms of the council chamber. The chamber and offices are linked by a glass bridge designed by James Carpenter. The openness of the lobby, the continuation of exterior materials and details on the inside, and the clear articulation of the council chamber reinforce the project’s intent as an inviting civic space for visitors.