Seattle, WA. Located in what was originally conceived as a temporary 25,000 sf exhibition hall for the 1962 World’s Fair, the landmarked building has been reborn as a light-filled global music hub, complete with music library, live performance spaces, DJ booths, open office workstations and the first ever coffee retail concept for noted Italian espresso machine maker La Marzocco.
KEXP’s extensive music library of 50,000+ albums is showcased behind large glass windows at the corner of 1st Ave N and Republican St. Passers-by can watch as DJs curate songs and prepare for their next show. “Opening up and activating this corner was a key design goal. Basically, we were hoping to overcome ‘The Great Wall of the Seattle Center’ that effectively blocks street energy from the retail corridor on Mercer Street from filtering towards Denny Way.” explained Kyle Gaffney. “Now, KEXP’s library serves as a glowing lantern at night and extends that energetic street presence even deeper into the block.” A new mid-block public entrance opens the studio to the street, bringing people into the KEXP gathering space, which in turn opens to the Seattle Center campus through roll-up doors. “It’s almost impossible to describe,” says John Richards of ‘The Morning Show’ on KEXP, “it feels like the grownups are going to show up and take it away from us.”