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Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - Page updated at 08:30 p.m.

Architects visualize new Sodo arena as a 'good neighbor'

By Lynn Thompson
Seattle Times staff reporter

The new Seattle sports arena proposed for the Sodo neighborhood will be a landmark building with a strong sense of place, architects told a city Design Review Board Tuesday night.

Brad Schrock, senior principal for 360 Architecture, which is designing the new facility, said arenas in the past were "black boxes" with little connection to their surroundings.

"They weren't good neighbors. ... We're doing everything we can to encourage connection on all sides of the building so it becomes a gateway and a beacon," Schrock said.

Other architects on the design team said they wanted "transparency" inside the arena so that fans could see out to Mount Rainier and the cranes along the waterfront and locate themselves in the city.

The arena design team released conceptual drawings earlier this month of a 725,000-square-foot arena that seated 18,000 to 20,000 people. The detailed architectural drawings are expected to be released Friday.

The Design Review Board questioned how pedestrians could access the facility using public transit that was mostly located along Fourth Avenue South on the opposite side of train tracks. They also questioned how the arena would sustain activity in the neighborhood even when events weren't scheduled.

The architects said they plan strong pedestrian connections along First Avenue South and Occidental Avenue South. They said they also plan a restaurant or bar along First Avenue South.

Lynn Thompson: 206-464-8305 or lthompson@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @lthompsontimes.

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