On my first day of work in Seattle, I took note of the King County Administrative Building on my way to Pioneer Square. I snapped a shot of the building and dug it up today for this post. A quick Google search led me to a Wikipedia article describing the building as "ugly" and the architect Roland G Pray. I am not surprised by the lack of attraction to this building- it's likely the same people who think slapping a stucco pilaster on a tract home as a beautiful design. If we take a moment to actually look at the building it's very interesting. It was built in 1971 and represents this point in time well. It's tectonic exterior facade is fantastic with a simple layering of structural elements (that seem to have held up pretty well). I was surprised that the natural light was decent inside given the relatively small window openings. My only general critique is the entry and how the building does not address the street, which was likely impossible for the architect to with with past zoning regulations anyhow (I'm sure the "ugly" naysayers described above will blame the architect anyway). Comparing this building with the Seattle Public Library seems easy with it's playful and geometric exterior and other obvious themes. Perhaps I should write about this in a future post.
Stay tuned for more relating Good Design Moments relating to this project.