Restoring Seattle's Icons

Take a tour of some of Seattle's most well-known landmarks, renovated by teams led by Ken Johnsen
Amy Loeffler
The renovation of Climate Pledge Arena involves digging out enough earth below the iconic roofline to double the interior space of the arena.
Pike Place Market, 2009-2013: "The Pike Place Market is a revered public landmark. We had to respect the culture of the old facility, but build it new and make it fit the existing aesthetic.That’s a tricky thing for designers to pull off. And they did it.
Seattle Central Waterfront and Elliott Bay Seawall Project, 2017: The challenge was to replace the failing seawall while keeping out the water from Puget Sound from the west and the city’s rainwater runoff from the east.

We asked Ken Johnsen, senior project manager and former partner at Shiels | Obletz | Johnsen, to take us on a tour of some of his most notable projects. 


“When people think of Seattle Center they think of that roof, so it made sense to save that,” Johnsen says. “Underneath that roof, we are building a brand new arena.”
Johnsen got to know how passionately people love baseball while he led the planning and construction of the Mariners’ baseball stadium. “Baseball has been a part of the rhythm of my life since Safeco,” he says.
Seattle Opera Center, 2018: "We made the back-of-house space more transparent so the public could see the offices, the rehearsal rooms, and the costume shop to get an idea of all the things that have to be done to put on an opera. Photo by Sean Airhart