Pioneer Passage Design Concept

See Final Concept Design Presentation

We’re in the final design phase to develop a “shovel-ready” surface design and lighting recommendations that are cost-effective, historically appropriate and community driven.  Why? Pioneer Square’s alleys will become safer and an economic asset to the community if we can remove the barriers to creating an attractive surface.

Here’s a brief recap on where we’ve been and where we’re going. The project is led by the International Sustainability Institute, funded in part by a neighborhood matching fund grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

Phase 1: Information Gathering (Aug-Sept)
The design team collected ideas for how people want to use the alleys and how to make them great public spaces. Design work began for two alleys (Nord and Pioneer Passage) to serve as models for Pioneer Square alleys.

Phase 2: Options Exploration (Sept-Oct)
This phase explored two different approaches to redesign the alleys; featuring lighting, history, uses, plants, seating, businesses and surfaces.

 1) The Gallery: Curate the alley. | Embrace the diverse businesses and history. | Reveal layers of cultural meaning hidden in plain site along alleys. | The present is enlivened through an embrace of the past.

2) The Stage: Staging the alley re-imagines what the space is. | Embrace the theatricality of the alleys. | People animate alleys. | Opportunities to engage and enliven alleys.

Phase 3: Concept Synthesis (Oct-Nov)

The final concept blends the two designs by weaving together historic and modern approaches. Feedback is incorporated from the 11/7 meeting and the 11/13 Pioneer Square Preservation Board meeting. The surface component is refined and taken to the next level of detailed design

Phase 4: City Approvals & Next Steps (Dec-Spring 2014)


Final concept to permit approvals for shovel-ready surface design
City of Seattle Street Improvement Process
Agreement between Pioneer Preservation Board, SDOT and utilities on an appropriate design.


The design team to provide guidelines for lighting recommendations to the Preservation Board for private building owners and the neighborhood installation.