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Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

September 17, 2013 at 6:51 PM

New Sodo arena design to be presented tonight

New drawings for the proposed Sodo sports arena show a flat plaza with low rocks to echo glacial action and water features to suggest the tides. Gone are the grand entry stairs featured in earlier drawings as well as a fin wall that ran parallel to First Avenue South.

Architects for investor Chris Hansen plan to present the new ideas tonight at a Downtown Design Review Board meeting on the project. The arena design still features a central cone with overlapping blades the architects have said is meant to resemble a jet turbine with a largely transparent exterior so the turbine is visible inside the building as well as on the rooftop.

The new design shows ticketing and offices in a wing at a right angle to the main entrance. The west-facing wall could become a giant LED screen projecting images from the current event or past moments in Seattle sports.

The design team describes the new plaza as a flat plane with “drumlins” — low, rock features — that “carry the north-south markings of glacial action.” And perhaps in a nod to James Corner, the landscape architect designing the waterfront park, who proposed water features and a mist machine for one of the waterfront public plazas, the arena architects have suggested shallow sheets of water, “some ephemeral and some permanent,” on the plaza around the drumlins. The water features would be present when the arena is not in use but dry when there are crowds, according to the architects’ description of the updated design.

The city is also conducting hearings on the arena’s draft Environmental Impact Statement. The second is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday in the Fidalgo Room at  Seattle Center. The local longshore workers union, which sued unsuccessfully to block construction under state environmental laws, now plans to protest in advance of the meeting and testify about shortcomings in the environmental review.

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