Prosecco corks and craft beer tops popped amid the sawhorses and pallets. Hardhats glinted in the light cast by the construction lights dangling from drop cords. It was Block 41’s first party ever and the building’s top-to-bottom refurbishing wasn’t even finished yet. But that was okay. It was a party for architects and they like to see the bones of a building. In fact, it is a prerequisite for events held by ARCADE, a Seattle-based non-profit focused on architecture and design. All ARCADE events are held in buildings that are works-in-progress preferably with one of their members as the lead architect.
In this case, it was a perfect scenario. Block 41 is an early 20th-century former icehouse in Belltown undergoing a thoughtful repurposing as an event venue. The architect is ARCADE member Jim Graham of the Seattle architecture firm Graham Baba. The well-attended party was a celebration of the launch of Arcade’s magazine issue 34.3, Undeniable: Edward Burtynsky's Photographs of a Changing World.
The crowd of over 300 nibbled, danced, mingled and admired Block 41’s artisanal touches like a blackened steel floating staircase, wide plank oak floors, exposed brick and board-formed concrete walls, leather-wrapped columns, massive old-growth timber beams. And coming soon - a custom chandelier by Seattle glass and metal artist Stephen Hirt.
Block 41 creator Dan Temkin, who is also an architectural aficionado worked with the Block 41 team and Wilcox Construction to get the building party-ready but still raw enough to suit the guests.
“We get it. Having an event in a partially completed space creates a unique environment that celebrates both design creativity and the professional support that ARCADE strives to create within the architect and design community,” said Temkin. “We were delighted to have Block 41 at just the right stage to serve as the perfect platform to host their event.”
Block 41 will be the sought after location for many more exciting and successful events once finishing touches are completed in early 2017.