In a recent article written by Charles Mudede at The Stranger, he talks about how in November The Bellevue City Hall building won an American Institute of Architects 2007 Honor Award for Washington Architecture.
The majority of the article talks about how Bellevue’s architecture in the past has been considered, as he states, “a very, very, very ordinary one.” He goes on to call Bellevue’s marriage with architecture, “all about bills, bank machines, and shopping.”
This for the most part has been true until now. Downtown Bellevue’s past has been notoriously known for Bellevue Square Mall and sleepy office buildings, but the skyline is now filled with cranes, showing great growth. Exciting tenants such as Yahoo! and Expedia.com are now flocking to Bellevue buildings, which have some of the lowest vacancy rates in the nation. This, along with many condos and apartment buildings, will bring a lively and rich culture to the Downtown core.
The article continues to criticize Seattle City Hall in its approach to the design and praises Bellevue’s well done job of simplicity and good design. The Seattle favored newspaper ends with:
“This must never happen again! Let’s hope that Bellevue City Hall is an anomaly. Bellevue must remain as Bellevue, with its malls, office buildings, and other products of what architect Rem Koolhaas calls junspace. Seattle must generate and dominate the higher culture of the region.”
There are many other beautifully designed buildings under construction and on their way towards completion in Downtown Belleve. The flourishing growth of buildings and culture has just begun. Seattle, be prepared, this is nowhere near the last of the awards we’ll be receiving.