Members of the Capitol Hill community spoke with Owen Richards Architects and the Volunteer Park Trust about the new amphitheater designs on April 6 at the Volunteer Park Conservatory (Image: Grace Kramer for CHS)
By Grace Kramer, UW News Lab / Special to CHS
The Volunteer Park amphitheater renovation project is drawing closer to approval and residents gathered Thursday night to discuss the proposed designs.
Owen Richards Architects and the Volunteer Park Trust invited the community for an open house on the proposed designs for the Volunteer Park amphitheater and there were lots of opinions, especially about another Volunteer Park renovation project, the Seattle Asian Art Museum expansion.
“It’s the first design I’ve seen in Seattle recently that’s actually an improvement,” said Marge Mackinnon, a Capitol Hill resident, about the new amphitheater.
The SAAM expansion, on the other hand?
“There are lots of art museums in Seattle,” said Mackinnon, “To destroy part of the park sucks.”
This isn’t the first time that the public has had a chance to see the amphitheater’s proposed designs. ORA Architects and the Volunteer Park Trust, as part of the terms of their funding grant from the Neighborhood Matching Fund, have been required to keep the design process transparent. They’ve done many public meetings and open houses so that the community can provide feedback on their designs.
Owen Richards, founder and principal architect with ORA, has worked on other projects like Chihuly Garden and Glass. He said that when he holds public events for buildings and structures he’s nervous because changes in a neighborhood are typically emotionally charged, but he doesn’t feel that way about the Volunteer Park amphitheater.
“At this point we’ve talked so much with the public it doesn’t feel controversial,” he said. Continue reading