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Cleaving the city from the expansive Puget Sound in 1953, the elevated Alaskan Way Viaduct made Seattle’s waterfront an isolated tourist trap shunned by locals. Now that a 2­mile (3.2­kilometer) tunnel has replaced the elevated highway, a new promenade designed by James Corner Field Operations will reconnect water to city, linking background to foreground. Placed at the terminus of major downtown streets that meet the rejuvenated waterfront, our four Waterfront Seattle Urban Kaleidoscopes playfully resample glimpses of Seattle far and near.

The reflective kiosks will provide a variety of amenities at the ground level, while functioning as urban landmarks that will make the waterfront visible from afar.

It is said that Seattle can experience four seasons in one day; the Urban Kaleidoscopes are conceived to heighten this temporal fluctuation, registering and multiplying the changing sky, water, and city.

At night, the stacked ends of the faceted façade will cast a glow on the promenade below, acting as a beacon to the waterfront and providing illumination for passersby.

Clad in glass with a reflective chrome interlayer, the towers reflect glimpses of city, water, and mountains, creating
points of light at night and urban kaleidoscopes during the day.


The kiosks begin as a volume and end as a surface, reconciling the need for a kiosk below and a visible sign above.

Client: City of Seattle
Location: Seattle, WA
Status: Design Development
Dates: 2013- (in DD)
Program: Kiosks along a new Waterfront by JCFO

Design Team: Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang | Ammr Vandal, Gabrielle Marcoux | Daniel Katebini-Stengel, Cheryl Baxter

Collaborators: Client: City of Seattle | Prime/Lead: James Corner Field Operations | Structural: MKA | Lighting: DarkLight | MEP: CH2M