The first view of Seattle Central Library is at night. It rises from sloping terrain as a multi-splayed parallelepiped. Zigzagging or sashaying upward, the library is glimpsed as a set of hovering protrusions framed by the orthodox walls of adjacent buildings.
Is it some mysterious work of engineering? An igneous eruption from deep within Earth’s crust? The latest interactive entertainment complex?
Orthogonal facades, and the extensive sloping planes that connect them, are all made from a diagonal steel web in-filled with dull glass. The taut, contiguous skin gives the project a certain uniformity or morphological unity.
In close-up, the giant fishnet membrane – part-honeycomb, part thin x-ray lattice – is mechanical yet sexy: it reflects back the tops of passing automobiles and blinking walk signs whilst also allowing strange, filmic views into the library...