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My Seattle: Olson Kundig owner & principal Alan Maskin

What does Olson Kundig's Alan Maskin's Seattle look like?

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Seattle is a collection of people, places, parks, events, and moments. The different ones we interact with and spend time around makes Seattle what it is to every of us.

Every so often, we like to ask one individual to share their Seattle with us. It's a chance to see the city through the eyes of others and learn about the nooks and artifacts we've haven't had a chance yet to appreciate. Or maybe gain a new understanding to appreciate them all over again.

Alan Maskin is owner and principal at Olson Kundig, one of Seattle's preeminent design firms. He has worked on buildings and exhibitions around the globe but local standouts include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center, The Frye Art Museum, and the Bezos Center for Innovation at MOHAI. The 5th Facade Project, on which he was design principal, was recently named the winning submission to the Blank Space Fairy Tales Competition.

Maskin has lived in Washington State for over thirty years and spend many days in Seattle at the Olson Kundig offices in Pioneer Square. Below, he's shared a collection of places and upcoming events that fill in his Seattle experience and provides good reason for you to experience them for yourself.
· Alan Maskin [OK]
· Welcome to the 5th Facade [OK]

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1. The Glass Pyramid at King Street Train Station

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303 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 382-4125
Visit Website

"Last year I had the opportunity to climb the clock tower of Seattle's historic King Street Train Station and see the glass pyramid at the top, which is made of beautiful cast glass tiles. The pyramid interior glows during the daylight hours and the exterior transforms into an urban beacon at night. As the city of Seattle plans to make a permanent art center here, more people will likely experience one of Seattle's most interesting rooms by passing through the interior of the enormous glass clock on the climb up."

2. The Future of Death and Dying

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1011 Boren Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

"Our region has some remarkable individuals with big ideas. Two of them are creating alternatives to how we are buried and remembered. The Lundgren Monuments showroom on Capitol Hill displays one-of-a-kind and custom tombstones designed by local artists, architects, and the studio proprietor, Greg Lundgren.The Urban Death Project is a research effort led by Seattle architect Katrina Spade that investigates a sustainable future where human bodies are composted - literally dust to dust. Visit the website for future development and prototype work."

3. The Pollinator Pathway

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12th Ave & E Columbia St
Seattle, WA 98122

"Seattle designer Sarah Bergman wants to connect all public green spaces across the globe with a garden network of interconnected pathways called The Pollinator Pathway. You can visit her first built prototype located on Columbia Street – which connects The Seattle University Campus on 12th Avenue and Nora's Woods at 29th Avenue. While the conceptual premise addresses a sweeping sustainable future, I love to walk the path when the pollinators are out in full force and clearly using the pathway as the designer intended."

4. Get High atop Volunteer Park Water Tower

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Volunteer Park
Seattle, WA 98112

"Due to recent legislation in Washington State, this title now has multiple meanings, but this recommendation is meant to address the views of the city that can be achieved from tall places. One of my favorite secret observation perches (few people realize you can climb to the top) is the 1906 Water Tower in Volunteer Park. Two winding stairs circumnavigate the water tank itself to a viewing platform with 360-degree views. The platform is the highest point in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The platform also includes an exhibit about the Olmstead Brothers, who designed the master plans for Seattle’s public park system a century ago, and also includes the park below."

5. Get High atop The Space Needle

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400 Broad St
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 905-2100
Visit Website

"Seattle’s most obvious tourist attraction remains the best - The Space Needle. My professor, Victor Steinbrueck, was one of the architects in John Graham’s office that designed The Space Needle. This Seattle landmark still offers thrilling views of a constantly changing and growing city. It is the greatest place to explain the region to new visitors, or to eat salmon on a rotating floor with old friends."

6. Midnight canoe ride on Lake Union

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860 Terry Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

"For a very brief time in architecture school, I sublet a tiny houseboat that moored on Lake Union. Architecture school requires continuous and repeated late nights in the studio and my classmates and I chipped in for a used canoe that we could use to float to the center of Lake Union in midnight hours. Floating in the dark water alongside ducks and geese, while staring at the lights of the city in profile beyond was the perfect antidote to hours spent drafting."

7. Neukom Vivarium at Olympic Sculpture Park

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2901 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 654-3100
Visit Website

"American artist Mark Dion found a fallen 60-foot-long Western Hemlock tree in a Pacific Northwest forest in 2006 and since then it has lived in a custom designed greenhouse in the Olympic Sculpture Park. Acting as a “nurse log,” the tree houses bacteria, fungi, insects, lichen, and plants. Magnifying glasses are provided."

8. Gas Works Park

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2101 N Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 684-4075
Visit Website

"Gas Works Park contains remnants from the sole remaining coal gasification plant in the United States. Initially considered controversial because much of the original plant was retained, acclaimed landscape designer Rich Hagg went on to win the American Society of Landscape Architects President’s Award for Design Excellence for the project."

9. Northwest Arts This Summer

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800 Occidental Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134
(206) 381-7555
Visit Website

"This summer the PNW will play host to several outstanding art fairs and exhibits. NW Art Now at the Tacoma Art Museum seeks to feature artists who highlight this particular moment in the Northwest visual arts and the intersection of identity, social justice, and the environment (May 14 - September 4, 2016). For the second year in a row over 80 of the world’s top art galleries (including David Zwirner, Pace galleries, as well as a strong contingent of Seattle and Portland galleries) ascend on Seattle (August 4 - 7,2016) for the Seattle Art Fair. A satellite exhibition a few blocks away from the Seattle art Fair is the return of Out Of Sight 2016, which is a large survey of art, installations, video, and performance by Northwest artists."

10. Compline Choir at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral

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1245 10th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 323-0300
Visit Website

"Every Sunday evening at 9:30pm about 300 people fill the pews and sprawl across the concrete floors in the dark cathedral of Saint Mark’s, as 18 signers appear out of the darkness and sing hauntingly beautiful music for 30 minutes. Once complete, they disappear as quickly as they arrived, but the impression carries with the mostly young audience as they spill out into the Seattle night."

11. Frye Art Museum

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704 Terry Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 622-9250
Visit Website

"One of the first projects that I worked on that got built was the Frye Art Museum on Capitol Hill. The museum contains a small private collection that has become home to some of the Northwest’s most interesting contemporary art shows and events."

12. Danny Woo Community Garden

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620 S Main St
Seattle, WA

"Located on a hill near Interstate 5, The Danny Woo Community Garden was founded in 1975 and is located in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District at 620 South Main Street. The Garden is approximately 1.5 acres and contains at least 88 plots that are cultivated and cared for by the elderly Asian and Pacific Islander immigrant residents of the neighborhood. This is a great neighborhood garden in the greatest sense and I always bring visitors to Seattle there to see what is growing. The garden is also home to a children’s garden, chicken coop, and outdoor kitchen."

13. Capitol Hill Block Party

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Broadway & E Pine St
Seattle, WA 98122

"Capitol Hill Block Party is a three-day music and arts festival celebrating Seattle’s iconic arts and music center, Capitol Hill. CHBP takes over six city blocks for three days in the heart of this Seattle neighborhood and showcases over 100 local and national artists. The grounds house three indoor venues, dozens of restaurants and bars, in addition to two outdoor stages built for the event."

1. The Glass Pyramid at King Street Train Station

303 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104

"Last year I had the opportunity to climb the clock tower of Seattle's historic King Street Train Station and see the glass pyramid at the top, which is made of beautiful cast glass tiles. The pyramid interior glows during the daylight hours and the exterior transforms into an urban beacon at night. As the city of Seattle plans to make a permanent art center here, more people will likely experience one of Seattle's most interesting rooms by passing through the interior of the enormous glass clock on the climb up."

303 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104

2. The Future of Death and Dying

1011 Boren Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

"Our region has some remarkable individuals with big ideas. Two of them are creating alternatives to how we are buried and remembered. The Lundgren Monuments showroom on Capitol Hill displays one-of-a-kind and custom tombstones designed by local artists, architects, and the studio proprietor, Greg Lundgren.The Urban Death Project is a research effort led by Seattle architect Katrina Spade that investigates a sustainable future where human bodies are composted - literally dust to dust. Visit the website for future development and prototype work."

1011 Boren Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

3. The Pollinator Pathway

12th Ave & E Columbia St, Seattle, WA 98122

"Seattle designer Sarah Bergman wants to connect all public green spaces across the globe with a garden network of interconnected pathways called The Pollinator Pathway. You can visit her first built prototype located on Columbia Street – which connects The Seattle University Campus on 12th Avenue and Nora's Woods at 29th Avenue. While the conceptual premise addresses a sweeping sustainable future, I love to walk the path when the pollinators are out in full force and clearly using the pathway as the designer intended."

12th Ave & E Columbia St
Seattle, WA 98122

4. Get High atop Volunteer Park Water Tower

Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA 98112

"Due to recent legislation in Washington State, this title now has multiple meanings, but this recommendation is meant to address the views of the city that can be achieved from tall places. One of my favorite secret observation perches (few people realize you can climb to the top) is the 1906 Water Tower in Volunteer Park. Two winding stairs circumnavigate the water tank itself to a viewing platform with 360-degree views. The platform is the highest point in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The platform also includes an exhibit about the Olmstead Brothers, who designed the master plans for Seattle’s public park system a century ago, and also includes the park below."

Volunteer Park
Seattle, WA 98112

5. Get High atop The Space Needle

400 Broad St, Seattle, WA 98109

"Seattle’s most obvious tourist attraction remains the best - The Space Needle. My professor, Victor Steinbrueck, was one of the architects in John Graham’s office that designed The Space Needle. This Seattle landmark still offers thrilling views of a constantly changing and growing city. It is the greatest place to explain the region to new visitors, or to eat salmon on a rotating floor with old friends."

400 Broad St
Seattle, WA 98109

6. Midnight canoe ride on Lake Union

860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

"For a very brief time in architecture school, I sublet a tiny houseboat that moored on Lake Union. Architecture school requires continuous and repeated late nights in the studio and my classmates and I chipped in for a used canoe that we could use to float to the center of Lake Union in midnight hours. Floating in the dark water alongside ducks and geese, while staring at the lights of the city in profile beyond was the perfect antidote to hours spent drafting."

860 Terry Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

7. Neukom Vivarium at Olympic Sculpture Park

2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

"American artist Mark Dion found a fallen 60-foot-long Western Hemlock tree in a Pacific Northwest forest in 2006 and since then it has lived in a custom designed greenhouse in the Olympic Sculpture Park. Acting as a “nurse log,” the tree houses bacteria, fungi, insects, lichen, and plants. Magnifying glasses are provided."

2901 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98121

8. Gas Works Park

2101 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103

"Gas Works Park contains remnants from the sole remaining coal gasification plant in the United States. Initially considered controversial because much of the original plant was retained, acclaimed landscape designer Rich Hagg went on to win the American Society of Landscape Architects President’s Award for Design Excellence for the project."

2101 N Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98103

9. Northwest Arts This Summer

800 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134

"This summer the PNW will play host to several outstanding art fairs and exhibits. NW Art Now at the Tacoma Art Museum seeks to feature artists who highlight this particular moment in the Northwest visual arts and the intersection of identity, social justice, and the environment (May 14 - September 4, 2016). For the second year in a row over 80 of the world’s top art galleries (including David Zwirner, Pace galleries, as well as a strong contingent of Seattle and Portland galleries) ascend on Seattle (August 4 - 7,2016) for the Seattle Art Fair. A satellite exhibition a few blocks away from the Seattle art Fair is the return of Out Of Sight 2016, which is a large survey of art, installations, video, and performance by Northwest artists."

800 Occidental Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134

10. Compline Choir at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral

1245 10th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102

"Every Sunday evening at 9:30pm about 300 people fill the pews and sprawl across the concrete floors in the dark cathedral of Saint Mark’s, as 18 signers appear out of the darkness and sing hauntingly beautiful music for 30 minutes. Once complete, they disappear as quickly as they arrived, but the impression carries with the mostly young audience as they spill out into the Seattle night."

1245 10th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102

11. Frye Art Museum

704 Terry Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

"One of the first projects that I worked on that got built was the Frye Art Museum on Capitol Hill. The museum contains a small private collection that has become home to some of the Northwest’s most interesting contemporary art shows and events."

704 Terry Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

12. Danny Woo Community Garden

620 S Main St, Seattle, WA

"Located on a hill near Interstate 5, The Danny Woo Community Garden was founded in 1975 and is located in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District at 620 South Main Street. The Garden is approximately 1.5 acres and contains at least 88 plots that are cultivated and cared for by the elderly Asian and Pacific Islander immigrant residents of the neighborhood. This is a great neighborhood garden in the greatest sense and I always bring visitors to Seattle there to see what is growing. The garden is also home to a children’s garden, chicken coop, and outdoor kitchen."

620 S Main St
Seattle, WA

13. Capitol Hill Block Party

Broadway & E Pine St, Seattle, WA 98122

"Capitol Hill Block Party is a three-day music and arts festival celebrating Seattle’s iconic arts and music center, Capitol Hill. CHBP takes over six city blocks for three days in the heart of this Seattle neighborhood and showcases over 100 local and national artists. The grounds house three indoor venues, dozens of restaurants and bars, in addition to two outdoor stages built for the event."

Broadway & E Pine St
Seattle, WA 98122