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Pike Place Marketfront

Seattle, WA
  • Bldg system

    Mass Timber

  • No. Of Stories


  • Sq. footage


Pike Place Market is one of the most iconic marketplaces in the country. Incubating over 200 small businesses, craftspeople, and farmers, it is considered the soul of Seattle, and has been a coveted place for over a century for locals and tourists alike to immerse themselves in a distinctly Seattle-centric culture. 

But when a building just beside the market burned down decades ago, all that remained of it was a surface parking lot that now sat abandoned and vacant. Dormant in the face of surrounding energy, the lot was not only an eye sore, but a functional hole in a neighborhood that had, for the most part, otherwise maximized its space to engage the public and contribute to the city’s thriving commerce.

This project, known as MarketFront, is carved into the hillside on the west side of Western Avenue directly below the Market. Elements include a mix of low-income and senior residential housing, commercial and retail areas, office space, and underground parking. Unfolding in two stages, the project’s first phase took place prior to the demolition of State Route 99 in 2016, and included 306 parking stalls, storage space, racks for 66 bicycles, and a podium for future construction.

Comprised primarily of heavy timber, light wood framing, and cast-in-place concrete, the project draws contextual inspiration from the simple utilitarian character of the existing market. This historic precedent, combined with timber’s carbon-negative footprint, abundant local sourcing, and speed of erection, made it an easy choice for the project team. While timber is typically used to support gravity loads, the structural engineer designed composite timber and steel framing members to manage portions of the building’s lateral loads. Enclosed by a timber-frame glazing system, the monumental structure includes a vibrant hall housing retail and restaurant spaces while preserving historic views of Puget Sound. Heavy timber columns, beams and decking serve as both structure and finish, bringing the natural beauty of wood to the space.

A critical connection point to the new Seattle waterfront plan, The MarketFront respects Seattle’s unique history while making way for a bright water-linked future.

  • Construction Type:


  • Building Type:


  • Material Types:

    Mass Timber, Glue-Laminated Timber (GLT or glulam), Timber-Frame / Post and Beam

Companies Involved:
Individuals Involved:
  • David Miller


  • David Lieberman


  • Brian Court

    Design Lead

  • David Fields

    Structural Engineer

  • Garrett Condel

    General Contractor

  • Swan Sodja


  • Ben Franz-Knight

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