EMP Museum | Photo: Brady Harvey

Design Digest

From the colorful curves of a modern museum to the ornate interiors of a historic theater,
Seattle’s architectural attractions are as alluring as they are accessible.

EMP Museum | Photo: Brady Harvey

Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)

Head to the base of the Space Needle, where this Seattle institution is known for its jaw-dropping exterior and its pop culture exhibits. Designed by architect Frank O. Gehry, EMP Museum is a colorful mix of silver, gold, fuchsia, and blue. The waves of metal reflect movement, representing the ever-evolving nature of music. *325 Fifth Ave N; MoPOP.org

Seattle Central Library

Named one of the favorite structures in the country by the American Institute of Architects, this 11-story library designed by architect Rem Koolhaas sits in the heart of downtown. Venture inside to check out the airy third-floor “living room,” the Dewey Decimal–inspired book spiral, and the scarlet-red hallways on level four. Take a self-guided cell phone tour (dial 206-686-8564) to explore in even more detail. *1000 Fourth Ave; spl.org

Bullitt Center

Trumpeted as the greenest commercial building in the world, this Capitol Hill structure stars sustainable features like geothermal heating and even composting toilets. Learn about its eco-friendly nature on a tour ($5) Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday. 1501 E Madison St; bullittcenter.org/home/tour

Downtown Historic Theater District

This collection of storied venues serves as a to-do list for architecture gazing and theater hopping. Catch shows at The 5th Avenue Theatre (built in 1926) for stunning décor inspired by Beijing’s Forbidden City, A Contemporary Theatre (1925) for stately Fraternal Order of the Eagles interiors, and Town Hall Seattle (1922) for impressive Roman Revival surroundings. Or take a free tour of The Paramount Theatre (1928) and The Moore Theatre (1907) the first and second Saturday of the month, respectively, to go behind the scenes in these venerable institutions. *The 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave; *A Contemporary Theatre, 700 Union St; *Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Ave; *The Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St; *The Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave; seattlehistorictheatres.com

*Visit Seattle Partner

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