Magnolia is a utopia for fans of mid-century modern architecture and double-level glass boxes with low, sheltering A-frame roofs are ubiquitous on its slopes. The structures are modest and practical, all while taking advantage of the sweeping city, sound and mountain views.



[Photos by BUILD LLC]

Known for its manicured landscapes, Magnolia is home to some of Seattle’s most pleasant parks. Ella Bailey Park on the south-east side offers an incredible view of Elliot Bay and downtown Seattle. Discovery Park at the northwest corner is expansive enough to allow us urbanites a chance to get out of the city without leaving town. The visitor center below by Miller Hull welcomes visitors to the northeast entrance of the park.

Discovery Park Visitor Center
[Photo by BUILD LLC]

One of the best examples of Pacific Northwest mid-century modern architecture is the Magnolia library designed by Kirk Wallace McKinley & Associates in 1964 with landscape design by Richard Haag. The interior is furnished with solid walnut tables and chairs custom designed by George Nakashima (props to Mike who pointed us in the right direction here).

Magnolia Library
[Photo by BUILD LLC]

The library was added to in 2007 by Snyder Hartung Kane Strauss, Architects. For furniture in line with Nakashima’s design philosophy, head over to 16th Workshop who’s owners had a hand in the library updates.

Magnolia Library 02
[Photo by BUILD LLC]

The community center of Magnolia also upholds some handsome examples of modern design. The post office still displays that classic high-relief steel lettering reminiscent of Neutra.

Magnolia Post Office
[Photo by BUILD LLC]

Our Lady of Fatima church offers the organic architectures common of the 1960’s.

Our Lady of Fatima 01

Magnolia building 02

Magnolia building
[Photos by BUILD LLC]

Houses in Magnolia are well maintained and because of their architectural purity the occasional remodels are careful and intentional. This addition to the house below is deliberately crafted in an alternative siding material to differentiate new from existing.

Magnolia House 07
[Photo by BUILD LLC]

BUILD LLC had the honor of remodeling a great mid-century modern residence in Magnolia quite recently. Kevin Eckert led the charge on the modern updates to this 1950s residence.  Read more about this particular project here and here.

BUILD LLC Magnolia House
[Photo by BUILD LLC]

There is plenty of traditional architecture in Magnolia, at the same time the community seems open to modern, forward-thinking architecture. Perhaps this is because good examples of modern design have been part of the built environment for nearly 60 years.

Magnolia House 05

Magnolia House 06

Magnolia House 04

Magnolia House 01

Magnolia House 02
[Photos by BUILD LLC]

The Eaton Residence by Eric Cobb has a forward thinking composition that we could have taken photos of all day.

Eaton Residence by Eric Cobb 01

Eaton Residence by Eric Cobb 02
[Photos by BUILD LLC]

Even the multi-family structures have a nice composition to them; this apartment building uses a simple structural grid to organize the façade and overlooks interbay and the Cascades.

Magnolia Multi-family 01

Magnolia Multi-family 02
[Photos by BUILD LLC]

On Magnolia’s south side is the new cruise ship terminal by Patano Hafermann Architects. The new facility features steel panels that filter the light and walls of glass to allow visitors a clear view of Seattle.

BUILDblog Cruise Ship Terminal Fellas 08
[Photo by BUILD LLC]

Let us know what we missed, and stay tuned for our next post which will feature the architecture of Discovery Park.