I was looking through my old photos this week and ended up trolling through some over the last year.  I do that sometimes and really need to stop and organize them better but I’m not sure when exactly that will happen.  Then, I stopped and just found myself gawking at these two beautiful buildings in two totally different locations and couldn’t help but remember the impact they both had on me.


Last summer, my middle son and I went to Seattle to watch his friend Cole Hammer play in the US Open.  That alone was a thrill.  We took some time to see the city too and one of my long time friends said “Do not come home unless you’ve seen the Library!”  She was emphatic, she was serious and she was right!



Built in 2004 by Ram Koohaas and Joshua Prince Ramis of OMA/LMN Architects, it is a multifaceted structure of steel and glass that required Magnussun Klemiecic, the structural engineers to finesse 4,644 tons of steel.  An engineering feat for sure!

When you enter the Seattle Library you are immediately met with the unexpected and might feel at first as if you’re in a parking garage.  Bare bulbs hang from the ceiling and cars driving down the angled Seattle streets look like toys on a ramp through the window of the Check-in.


The escalator up was like a ride into the sky with a grid of diamonds ahead.  The escalator was so long that it reminded me of the London underground. The building is eleven stories tall.


Shiny apple green escalator walls and railings steer you higher under a metal perforated ceiling.

Similar to the Louvre, the glass grids surround you by the time your reach the top floor.  The impact took my breath away.

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At the top, there is a hallway around the perimeter with a chance to walk down to the rows of books.  You can see them to the left.  Elevators take you to other floors and each floor has this same effect.    It’s such a strange feeling, half airy and half like you are in a cage. .


Here’s a view out of the windows of the other skyscrapers downtown.  Fantastic. The angles make you feel as if you might fall.

That must have been something to construct….look at those bolts!  Wow.  and across the way you can see it’s reflection in the building next door.  I’m sure it impacts their light too.

The grids play all over again and again. Looking down into the atrium style center below, you can see different floors of the library.


Seattle was incredible from Pike’s fish market to the wharf and harbour and wonderful restaurants.  And of course great coffee!  But the Library was a show stopper!

If you want to, read more here about the Seattle Library.


Over Spring Break, on a non-ski day for me, I found the much talked about Aspen Art Museum.

This beautiful grid sits in a boxy juxtaposition to the other typically Aspen Victorian-style architecture and the mountains beyond it.  Japanese architect Shigeru Ban wanted outsiders to be pulled in and those inside to still be able to enjoy the views.


It almost looks like leather straps woven together when you get up close.  It’s actually a composite material called prodema – “an amalgam of paper and resin encased with dual-sided wood veneer.”  In the photo below you can see the sculpture by artist, Liz Larner that looks as if a satellite landed on the sidewalk.  You can read about the material and her inspiration below in the following photo.


Can’t read that even with your glasses?  Well she is a California based artist who graduated from UT Dallas and this piece called X represents the intersection of art and technology in mirrored steel.  Here’s a link to more info.  Liz Larner

From inside the building on the stairwell, you can spy the mountains in the distance.



I think he achieved his goal.  I was drawn in and loved the views from inside.

Again the fractured broken light playing patterns on the floor and large panes of glass to the right. They chose a wall of circular tube pattern running down the inside of the stairwell.  Curves in grid.

The rooftop cafe was empty because it was winter and down the street from the slopes at an off time but I bet it’s pretty buzzy in the summer.  Check out this view of the mountains.


Nice view for these two people in the outdoor rooftop sculpture garden.  I love these vaulted and grid beamed ceilings.  

The cafe was light and airy with a lifted feeling despite the wintery day outside.  It was closed so I can’t show you any chic Aspen apres ski scenes here.

The art itself was interesting but there were no photos allowed in those rooms.

I hope these grids inspire something that you are working on today.   The details may give you an idea for something in your own house, work or life.

Some of my most favorite ways to see a city are to take a look at the architecture and art.  I found both of these inspiriting!  Do you have some buildings you love in your photos or memories?  Tell us where to find them in the Leave a Reply Box below.  Happy Monday!





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