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"Vertical Bellevue, Washington: Architecture Above a Boomburb Skyline"

Photographer Marques Vickers has captured over 125 stunning images from thirty-two commercial and residential high-rise projects that constitute the nucleus of Bellevue, Washington’s downtown core. His edition “Vertical Bellevue: Architecture Above a Boomburb Skyline” aesthetically documents the contemporary construction vision evolving along the eastern shores of Lake Washington. The photographic edition is Vickers’ third in his Vertical Washington series of architecture books.

The heightening of the downtown Bellevue skyline mirrors the prosperity and expansion of the community’s business base. Vickers’ photography isolates the aesthetic imprint of contemporary glass architecture design. An accompanying essay “Glass Curtain Architecture” traces the historical evolution and layered components of glass exterior constructions.

Vickers commentary follows the evolution of high-rise structures dating from the ancient Roman era into contemporary design. Vickers traces the increased evolution of glass exteriors based on a fundamental architectural shift in structural emphasis beginning in the 20th century. Masonry based walls supporting the weight of structures were replaced by steel spined framing. The load-bearing hollow cylinders supported wall curtains that ultimately made glass panes an ideal fixture.

The traditional considerations for employing glass have included economics, ease and speed of installation and weight factors. Although significantly lighter than masonry, glass high-rises have come under increasing criticism and scrutiny for issues including energy consumption, CO2 emissions, privacy, slippage and projected lifespans.

Economics, engineering and construction management remain essential elements to preserving the equilibrium between beauty and practicality. In Bellevue, the sleek and gleaming reflective glass curtains reign and are anticipated to increase.

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