Since its opening at the turn of the 20th century, Pike Place Market has become a pillar of Seattle’s urban fabric. More than just a public market, this neighborhood turned historic district is home to farmers, craftspeople, small businesses and residents, each an integral part of the area’s history and character.
Completed in 2017, Pike Place MarketFront caters to the present, but looks to the future, acting as the gateway from the heart of downtown to the waterfront. Today, the project serves as a critical connection point where the most essential goods and services are available within a 10-minute walk and well-served by transit. In the near future, Pike Place MarketFront will also lead down to Overlook Walk, a part of Seattle’s multi-phase waterfront revitalization plan that is currently in design.
Early in the process, the Pike Place MarketFront design team established a set of goals to create a unique urban experience in Seattle’s Pike Place Market District. With the urban design framework for the waterfront in place, the MarketFront project was challenged to develop a rich range of pathways and experiences that engage the public in the immediate local environment, while ultimately linking to the future shoreline promenade on the waterfront.
The design team’s vision was to open the city’s treasured landmark with grand public gathering space framed by a contemporary lightness and transparency. The team found contextual inspiration in the character of Pike Place Market’s simple utilitarian character, as well as in the concrete post and beam structures and heavy timber elements commonly found throughout the existing Market. An extension of the neighborhood, Pike Place MarketFront is inspired by the existing district, adding 50 vendor stalls, 40 low-income and senior apartments, commercial, retail and office space, public restrooms and 300 underground parking spaces.
Credits: dark | light design, ARUP, Wetherholt and Associates, Berger Partnership, RMB Vivid, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Heffron Transportation, Sellen, ESA Associates