Catalogue of Soundscape Intervention

Jim Ellis Freeway Park

JIM ELLIS FREEWAY PARK IN SEATTLE, UNITED STATES

Built on top of a sunken freeway Jim Ellis Freeway Park is a popular urban oasis that was implemented in 1976. Promoted by local authorities, it is a permanent installation, attracting residents and tourists. 

CONTEXT

Seattle’s Freeway Park was the first freeway lid — a structure built on top of a sunken freeway — in the nation. Its distinct areas, known as the Central Plaza, East Plaza, and West Plaza, are woven together via a cohesive medley of concrete, greenery, and furnishings. Water features, such as an impressive 30-foot concrete canyon built directly over the median strip of Interstate 5, help enhance the landscape and differentiate the moods of each space. The park is designed along and within the corridor of the highway that passes right next to the city centre and allows pedestrian communication in this city area. In the southern half of the park, there is a monumental fountain designed to resemble waterfalls like Niagara’s. The sound of water from artificial waterfalls masks the noise of traffic.