The construction of Interstate 5 through the heart of Seattle in 1962 resulted in a savage scar of roadway that separated the historic neighborhoods of the city. The constant noise and pollution that course through the edges of Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, First Hill, Downtown Seattle and Eastlake are familiar to the citizens that live and work in the city.
The C.A.P. project proposes a city-wide architectural infrastructure solution to multiple issues facing the fast growing city of Seattle. The rapid expansion of the urban core of the city has made the condition of I-5 slicing through multiple neighborhoods untenable. Recovering the space lost to the freeway is the initial generator, covering the expansive swath of land with a 45 acre, 2 mile long park creates a public benefit of an enormous scale. The park would be situation on a structural cap build over the existing interstate, starting at the Lakeview overpass on the north end, running along the western edge of Capitol Hill towards the downtown core. As the park intersects Denny Way the topography begins to rise, responding to the density of the surrounding buildings. The proposed program under this portion of the park includes two phases of expansion for the Washington State Convention Center. This section completes two of the most egregious holes in the current urban fabric, covering up I-5 between the Pike and Olive and Boren Avenue. The park continues to swirl into the downtown core while rising to its highest point. Under this section of the park a 20,000 seat hybrid arena / convention space is situated over an existing transit stop with a connection to light rail. The arena will house both an NBA and NHL team and on off-nights it can be reconfigured into smaller spaces that can be utilized by the Convention Center. The hybrid arena / convention space has the potential to be utilized for conventions 75% of the calendar year.
The C.A.P. proposal solves multiple issues, our growing city can thrive from the complexity of the challenges facing its citizens. We can have a beautiful public park, a destination convention center, a downtown sports arena and affordable housing. Each of the neighborhoods have multiple opportunities to tie the city back together at large and small scales. Focus on the public amenities, public input and evolutionary process that the C.A.P. infrastructure supports will allow the development of the concept over time.