| 11 : 30 – 27 June 2018 |
Sound Transit for University of Washington designed by LMN Architects standing at a busy street intersection in Seattle, is a fusion of art and architecture.
Proving to be unique gateway for UW campus, the transit project includes train platform 100 feet below ground connected via escalators and elevators from a 2-level glass entrance structure. This above-ground steel and glass structure frames scenic views of its surroundings including Lake Washington and Cascade Mountains. Acting also as a light well, the structure allows daylight to reach the mezzanine interiors.
Surface level entry and exit
Passing through various levels connecting the urban fabric around the transit, one enters a interior compartment adorning artworks of renowned artist Leo Saul Berk. The digitally designed and fabricated metal panels showcase the artists interpretation of the earth’s geologic layers as one is transiting in the interconnected spaces.
Glass and steel structured box
Moving towards the underground transit
From the Architects –
More than a light rail station, the Sound Transit University of Washington Station adds multiple threads to the urban fabric at the intersection of Montlake Boulevard and Pacific Street. Knitting together transportation modalities from bike to bus to pedestrians to trains, the multi-disciplinary design of the 156,000-square foot station creates a unified solution at a problematic street intersection, one of the busiest in Seattle, and provides a unique gateway to the UW campus through its above and below-grade experiences.
Lateral building section
Aerial view of the urban fabric around the transit
Design elements throughout the station create a sense of movement and connection with the urban fabric. Between the surface and the train platform 100 feet below, circulation paths follow an orchestrated sequence of moments, constantly orienting users to the station’s overall volume, structure and internal flow. Visual connections between multiple levels also create a strong sense of orientation.
Multiple access way to the entrance
The 2-level glass entrance structure frames views of the surrounding context, including Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains. The transparency also serves as a light well, allowing daylight to reach down to the mezzanine level. Colored ceramic wall tiles animate the mezzanine and ticket machine areas with energetic green motion lines.
Glossy ceramic wall tiles add in energetic effect
An art chamber –
At the heart of the station experience, the escalators and glass elevator pass through a 55-foot high central chamber, one of the highest interior volumes in the city. LMN Architects and artist Leo Saul Berk collaborated to create an integrated experience for travelers, where the architecture seamlessly merges with Berk’s artwork, Subterraneum, that expresses the geological layers of soil surrounding the station walls.
An art chamber – Artist Leo Saul Berk’s digital art wall
Kaleidoscope of Berk’s artwork
Mechanical systems are layered into the architecture, subordinated to the larger gestures of art, daylight, and efficient movement through the space. A linear green service armature follows the circulation pathways overhead, suspending light fixtures and public-address speakers. Behind the scenes, an extensive emergency smoke ventilation system, track crossover area, and maintenance spaces are nearly as large by volume as the circulation chambers. Two elliptically-shaped ventilation towers provide supply and exhaust air, anchoring each end of the below-grade structure.
Longitudinal building section
Surface connectivity –
On the surface, the station’s new bicycle and pedestrian bridge, with stairs, escalators, and ramps connecting both levels of the entrance structure, curves gently as it spans over Montlake Boulevard to connect with the Rainier Vista on the university campus. The bridge plays a critical role in expanding Seattle’s bicycle commuter network, connecting the Burke-Gilman Trail with a new bike lane on the rebuilt State Route 520 floating bridge.
Commuting network around the transit
Detail section of the interior spaces
Exterior view of the glass structure next to Husky stadium
Each element of the project is carefully considered as a component of a larger whole, set within a complex web of uses that encompasses the campus, the surrounding neighborhoods, and important university destinations such as Husky Stadium, the Alaska Airlines Arena, Rainier Vista, and the UW Medical Center. Train passengers can now reach downtown Seattle in six minutes, and the SeaTac International Airport in roughly 40 minutes.
Underground transit platform
Project details –
Project Name – Sound Transit University of Washington Station
Architect – LMN Architects | www.lmnarchitects.com
Project type – Transit station, Transportation facility, Civic
Built area – 1,57,856 sq. ft.
Completion year – 2016
Photography – © Kevin Scott | www.kevinscott.us
Awards received –
AIA National Honor Award for Interior Architecture – 2018
Chicago Athenaeum/Europe International Architecture Award – 2017
American Architecture Awards Airports and Transportation Centers – 2017
Architizer Popular Choice Winner, Architecture + Glass – 2017
Fast Company Innovation by Design Honorable Mention for Spaces, Places, Cities – 2016
AIA Washington Council Civic Design Awards Honorable Mention – 2016
AIA Seattle Chapter Award of Merit – 2016
City of Seattle Design Commission Design Excellence Award – 2016
Project team / Consultants –
Northlink Transit Partners – McMillen Jacobs Associates, HNTB and AECOM
Mechanical Engineering – HNTB
Landscape Architecture – Swift Company
Lighting Design – Light Wire
Architectural technical facilities coordination – Moniz Art & Architecture
Acoustical consultant – The Greenbusch Group
Artist – Leo Saul Berk | www.leoburk.com
Systems design – LTK Engineering Services
Construction management – START
Contractor – Hoffmann Construction Company