Situated across the street from the Seattle Opera House and McCaw Hall, the design of Center Steps speaks to the front and back of house drama of its Seattle Center neighbors, as well as the more stoic Uptown neighborhood and Queen Anne hill to the North. The complex features two buildings with a mid-block connection. The portion of building sited on Mercer speaks to “front of house” featuring a glowing channel glass beacon visible from the Seattle Center fountain. Ground floor retail welcomes visitors for a pre-show nosh. Faceted metal panels on the facade shift color, transforming the mood as lighting does on the stage across the way.
To the North, two buildings are split by a landscaped mid-block crossing and take design cues from “back of house”, relying on simple forms and masonry to express a unity of opposites on either side of the mid-block through balance, rhythm and contrast.
Ultimately Center Steps is a fitting neighbor for Seattle Center that invites both residents and visitors into and through the neighborhood.