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No, it's not the architect's model; this is Seattle City Hall seen from the top of the Smith Tower. I've shown you other features of this civic complex from time to time, but this gives you the full picture of this Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design "LEED" Gold certified "green" campus. Yes, that is grass on the roof (the same architects helped plan the Ballard branch of the library, which also has a living roof).
Just yesterday ground was broken at the parking lot across 5th Ave. from Seattle Center to begin construction of Seattle's newest complex to be built to LEED Gold specifications. It's the 900,000 square foot campus of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The $500 million project includes a brilliantly planned visitors center and two six story office buildings. Iincluded among it's key "green" components are living roof systems like the one on the new multistory parking structure for Seattle Center, which is already finished and now open. The new Gates Foundation headquarters will be completed in 2010 and visitor center will open in 2011. Considering all the green grassy roofs popping up in Seattle, maybe Ma & Pa Ingalls' little soddy by the banks of Plum Creek was architecture way ahead of its time. ;^)