South Arcade

Location Seattle, Washington
Design Principal Jim Olson

This 260,000-square-foot, mixed-use complex anchors the southern terminus of Seattle’s historic and popular Pike Place Market. Composed of three distinct yet functionally connected buildings, the complex is designed to reinforce the diversity and scale of the district. Its tallest component, a 12-story, 59-unit luxury residential tower, defines the southern edge of the district. The two other elements are the Market Gardens, a 60-unit elderly and low-income studio apartment building, and the Newport, a 20-unit apartment building. An organic pattern of interior streets and passages link this new complex with the established, idiosyncratic urban milieu of the Market, First Avenue and Post Alley.

The challenge was to develop a concept that brought together disparate programmatic elements and make them sensible partners on this site. The project is conceived as a city in microcosm. An organic pattern of interior streets and passages link the new with the old, integrating the new complex into the established, idiosyncratic urban milieu of the Market, First Avenue and Post Alley.  At the Market level, retail and commercial spaces within the three buildings are connected via an internal arcade and atrium which extends the traditional pedestrian activity of the Market’s existing arcades. Inspired by the neighborhood’s diverse visual and textural rhythms, the arcade is the heart of the project, for it enhances and expands the fundamental retail/commercial activities that define and energize the Market. The building’s formal precedents are found in modernism, yet its contextual connections soften the building in its response to the existing architectural fabric. With a color palette inspired by Pike Place rather than the city, the lively arcade and the buildings that house it have become an established and integral component of this vibrant urban place.



Design Principal

Jim Olson



“South Arcade.” The Seattle Times, 23 Jan. 1983, A27. Print.

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