From NBBJ, the architects who brought Seattle the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation building and the Amazon at Denny Triangle project, comes Seattle Opera at the Center, a civic space where visitors can learn about the technical and artistic elements of putting on an opera.
The Seattle Opera signed a long-term lease with the City of Seattle for the space next to McCaw Hall in 2007, but plans were put on hold by the recession. Designs are in the works once more for a four-story, 105,000-square-foot facility on the site of the condemned Mercer Arena at Fourth Avenue North and Mercer Street. The new building will house administrative offices, costume, prop and tech storage and provide a space for scene assembly, rehearsal, education and community events.
The design includes a large glass window on the corner where pedestrians can look in and view the behind the scenes making of an opera. Planners hope the transparent design of the building will make the art more accessible and help the public develop a more personal connection with the beauty of operatic performance.
About $14 million of the $60 million project will be paid for with a mix of federal, state, county and city funds. The rest will come from private donations. Seattle Opera General Director Aidan Lang said about two-thirds of the funding has been secured, reports the DJC. Seattle Opera hopes to begin construction in January 2017.