A recent Seattle Pi article says throughout the rapid growth Seattle has seen, “the city's version of "Northwest Style" has remained consistent” throughout the years.
Seattle was named the “fifth fastest-growing U.S. city by numeric population increase” by the U.S. Census Bureau. The hyper-growth the city is experiencing has led to an influx in new building developments over the years. While the city has been “influenced by the times and the trends en vogue”, architectural trends have proven they do not define the city's overall architecture. Seattle has maintained a design style unique to it's culture and history.
Seattle’s architectural style is “not so much a uniform look as it is a school of thought, or a consistent design style", instead it "finds ways to express itself no matter what style wields the most influence at the time”. Through the substantial growth in the city, there are two fundamental elements that remain consistent in the city’s architecture, wood and steel.
Heavily influenced by environmental elements, these materials cultivate “Seattle-area's architectural style” and in turn allow “us to flex other Northwest details”. Northwest details often seen in Seattle architecture include designs influenced by our climate as well as the history in our area.
Known for the rain, Seattle homes and buildings often include designs to let natural light flow.The area's rich history can also be observed in it's design. Commonly found in “coastal Native American tribes in Washington”, exposed wood posts and beams as well as open floor plans have gained prominence in the city’s architecture.
As trends change over time, Seattle has consistently proven to be a dynamic architectural city that mainins a unqiue style and uses common materials in innovative ways.