Archive for ‘Infrastructure’

December 12, 2011

Bus Shelter | Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee


Architect: Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee 
Location: , North Carolina, USA
Client: Wake Technical Community College
Project Team: Jeffrey Lee, Douglas Brinkley, Marni Rushing, David Hill
Completion: 2007
Photographs: JWest Productions

Completed in 2007, the bus shelter is a prototype design that has been initially constructed on the Main Campus of Wake Tech Community College. As the College’s enrollment grows and the subsequent demand for public transportation increases, this prototype will be located on all of the current and future campuses. The bus shelter received a 2008 AIA National Small Project Structures Award.

The bus shelter is a simple yet refined architectural composition of two materially contrasting elements: a heavy cast in place concrete wall that serves as structure and as a bench, and a steel canopy frame, fabricated off-site, delivered by truck, and set into place. In elevation and section, the wall interlocks with the canopy forming a double ‘L’ composition. The canopy skin, in this case laminated polycarbonate, further expresses the lightness and translucency of the canopy.

Sand blasted, clad with slate panels, or left in a natural state, the cast in place concrete wall has a versatile materiality. The name and map of each campus can be cast or applied directly to the concrete wall. A simple wooden bench fabricated of Ipe, is attached to the wall providing a comfortable place to sit.

The canopy structure and its associated skin provide shade and shelter. Either translucent polycarbonate panels or patterned laminated glass, are attached to the steel frame providing a weather tight cover. The choice of skin further allows light to filter through animating the space with ever changing shadows and patterns of light.

December 3, 2011

Moses Bridge | RO&AD Architecten

Architects: RO&AD Architecten
Location: , The Netherlands
Client: Municipality of Bergen op Zoom
Material used: Accoya wood
Project Area: 50 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of RO&AD Architecten

The West Brabant Water Line is a defense-line consisting of a series of fortresses and cities with inundation areas in the south-west of the Netherlands. It dates from the 17th century but fell into disrepair in the 19th century. When the water line was finally restored, an access bridge across the the moat of one of the fortresses, Fort de Roovere, was needed. This fort now has a new, recreational function and lies on several routes for cycling and hiking.

It is, of course, highly improper to build bridges across the moats of defense works, especially on the side of the fortress the enemy was expected to appear on. That’s why we designed an invisible bridge. Its construction is entirely made of wood, waterproofed with EPDM foil. The bridge lies like a trench in the fortress and the moat, shaped to blend in with the outlines of the landscape.

The bridge can’t be seen from a distance because the ground and the water come all the way up to its edge. When you get closer, the fortress opens up to you through a narrow trench. You can then walk up to its gates like Moses on the water.

Text provided by RO&AD Architecten

November 13, 2011

Tianjin West Railway Station | gmp architekten

After a construction period of two and a half years, von Gerkan, Marg and Partners Architects (gmp) have completed the Tianjin West Railway Station in China. The new intersection, which is located about 130 kilometers south-west of Beijing, serves as a stop on the high-speed line between the Chinese capital and Shanghai, as well as connecting the various regional lines and linking these to the underground network. The local urban design function of the railway station is to connect a commercial area to the north with the old city center to the south, bridging tracks, a river and a road in this city of 12 million residents.

The architects have highlighted the bridge function between the city quarters with a 57 meter high and nearly 400 meter long barrel vault roof above the terminal concourse. Its curved roof is reminiscent of a large scale city gate and the long, stretched out concourse beneath of a classic place of transit. The portals of the eastern and western sides of the curved hall are symmetrically framed by arcades. To the south of the building a large and open station forecourt covers a wide area which gives credence to the importance and dimension of this railway station.
Passengers enter the new Tianjin West RailwayStation through the main entrances on the north and south sides. Arched cantilevers above the entrances and tall window fronts convey an initial impression of the space passengers encounter in the concourse, which is flooded with daylight, providing a highquality atmosphere and clear orientation for travellers. Daylight reaches the concourse through the diamondshaped steel and glass roof construction, and while the lower part is nearly transparent and admits a great deal of light, the upper part serves as protection against direct solar radiation. The barrel vault roof conveys a dynamic impression, not least because its steel elements vary in width and depth from the bottom to the top, and are woven together. Escalators and lifts are available for passengers and visitors to descend to the platforms. This technically and structurally sustainable railway station illustrates a contemporary interpretation of the cathedrals of traffic from the heydays of railway travel.

Competition 2007 – 1st prize
Design Meinhard von Gerkan and Stephan Schütz with Stephan Rewolle
Project leader Jiang Lin Lin
Design Team, Phase 1 Iris Belle, Shi Liang, Du Peng, Chunsong Dong
Design Team, Phase 2 Nicolas Pomränke, Jochen Sültrup, Clemens Ahlgrimm, Christian Dorndorf, Bernd Gotthardt, Clemens Kampermann, Kian Lian, Sabine Stage, Cai Wei
Design Team, Phase 3 Sebastian Linnack, Thomas Schubert, Zheng Shan Shan
Detailed Design Team, Phase 4 Dong Shu Ying, Sebastian Linack, Thomas Schubert, Zheng Shan Shan
Structural engineers schlaich bergermann und partner
Chinese partner practice TSDI
Client Tianjin Ministry of Railway
Gross floor area 179,000 m²
Number of platforms 24
Construction period 2009–2011

Christian Gahl



October 10, 2011

guangzhou south railway station | TFP farrells

‘guangzhou south railway station’ by TFP farrells, guangzhou, china
images courtesy TFP farrells

the recently completed ‘guangzhou south railway station’ located in guangzhou, china designed by london-based
practice TFP farrells has been shortlisted for an award in the transport category of this year’s world architecture festival.
positioned within the pearl river delta region, this addition to china’s growing network of high speed railway transportation
hubs will circulate 300,000 passengers on a daily basis. 28 platforms distributed on the ground level receive the arrival
trains while departures are elevated to the first floor. the building is divided vertically to provide infrastructure for other
modes of movement including taxis, cars, buses and connections to the metropolitan subway positioned underground.

a series of spacious atriums welcome passengers while simultaneously allowing unobstructed views from the raised
concourses through to the waiting hall. the spine of the structure contains a 348 meter long skylight which becomes wider
near the main entrances and slimmer towards the center. the barrel vaulted structural steel diagrid is enclosed with ETFE
air cushions to introduce daylight while minimizing excessive solar gain. reminiscent of the appearance of victorian train stations,
the standing seam roof is angled 45 degrees to evoke the structural arrangement of leaves. the 168 meter clear-spans of the roof’s
hybrid system of structural components results in column free areas with visual connections between escalators and lifts.
the overall masterplan introduces two large vegetated plazas at the opposing points of entry increasing the urban dweller’s
connection with native trees and plants.

ground level entrance

atrium with glazed roof

waiting area with column free spaces

stairs down to platforms


departure platforms

elevated outward view from station of landscaped plaza

perimeter corridor

outdoor corridors beneath roof overhang

aerial view


August 27, 2011

King’s Cross Station | John McAslan + Partners

“It’s incredible to watch the reinvention of the station taking shape into a compelling piece of place-making for London. You can already see how the Western Concourse – Europe’s largest single span station structure and the heart of the development – reconnects this much-loved Victorian terminus to its context. It’s immensely satisfying to see the project move forward at such pace and we look forward to celebrating the project’s completion in 2012 for the London Olympics.”-John McAslan, Chairman 

Architect: John McAslan + Partners
Location: London, 
Photographs: Courtesy of John McAslan + Partners, Hufton Crow, John Sturrock

With multi-phased, major works to Kings Cross station well advanced and the dramatic new Western Concourse in the process of being completed, the significance of the King’s Cross Station redevelopment is becoming increasingly apparent day by day.

As lead architects and masterplanners, John McAslan + Partners’ (JMP’s) transformation of King’s Cross Station for Network Rail is an object lesson in the fusion of three very different styles of architecture: re-use, restoration and new build. The train shed and range buildings have been adapted and re-used, the station’s obscured Grade I listed façade has been very precisely restored, and a new, highly expressive Western Concourse has been designed as a centrepiece and the beating heart of the project. When the works to the station are complete and it opens to the public in March 2012, the transformed station and its memorable new Western Concourse will take on the role of a new, iconic architectural gateway to the city in time for the 2012 London Olympics. This structure re-orientates the station to the west, creating significant operational improvements and revealing the main south façade of Lewis Cubitt’s original 1852 station, a masterpiece that has been hidden behind a canopy since 1972.

Although the Western Concourse is probably the most visually striking change to the station, JMP’s work on the project also involves a series of layered interventions and restorations that started with the completed restoration of the Eastern Range building (finished in 2009) and will also see the Main Train Shed, Suburban Train Shed and Western Range buildings revitalised.

Having begun work on the project in 1998 and establishing the masterplan for the development in 2005, John McAslan + Partners has played a key role in the profound infrastructural, social and commercial changes occurring in the area, connecting the station with the massive King’s Cross Central scheme north of the station as well as connecting to St Pancras, the London Underground, and surrounding context. The architectural ambition of JMP’s scheme recognises the opportunity to drive meaningful urban improvement in this part of the city, whilst also allowing King’s Cross Station to cope with increasing passenger numbers, which are thought to reach 50 million a year by 2012.


The centrepiece of the £500m redevelopment is the new vaulted, semi-circular concourse to the west of the existing station. The concourse rises some 20m and spans the full 150m-length of the existing Grade I Listed Western Range, creating a new entrance to the station through the south end of the structure and at mezzanine level on the northern end of the Western Concourse.

Designed by John McAslan + Partners, and engineered by Arup, the 7,500sqm concourse has become Europe’s largest single-span station structure, comprising of 16 steel tree form columns that radiate from an expressive, tapered central funnel. The graceful circularity of the concourse echoes the form of the neighbouring Great Northern Hotel, with the ground floor of the hotel providing access to the concourse.

The Western Concourse runs delicately alongside the façade of the Western Range, clearly revealing the restored brickwork and masonry features of the original station. From the concourse’s dramatic interior space passengers can reach the platforms either through the ground level gate-lines in the Ticket Hall via the Western Range building, or by using the mezzanine level gate-line, which leads onto the new cross–platform footbridge.

Sitting above the new London Underground northern ticketing hall, and with retail elements at mezzanine level, the concourse will transform passenger facilities, whilst also enhancing links to the London Underground, and bus, taxi and train connections at St Pancras. The concourse is set to become an architectural gateway to the King’s Cross Central mixed-use developments, a key approach to the eastern entrance of St Pancras International. It will also act as an extension to King’s Cross Square, a new plaza that will be formed between the station’s southern façade and Euston Road.


Iconic design is matched at King’s Cross Station by considered architectural interventions. King’s Cross Western Range is the historic station’s biggest component and will provide the greatest range of uses. Complex in plan, and articulated in five buildings, its renewal will deliver greatly improved working conditions for the station staff, train-operating companies and Network Rail management teams. The Northern Wing, destroyed by bombing in World War II, has been rebuilt to its original design. The reinstatement of the Western Range by JMP will deliver key gated connections, including a new gate-line at the southern end, which will become the main point of connection between the Western Concourse and the platforms of the Main Train Shed.


The station’s Main Train Shed is 250m long, 22m high and 65m wide, spanning eight platforms. It is being transformed by John McAslan + Partners’ several major interventions. The bold architecture of the main south façade will be re-exposed and is in the process of being restored, whilst the north and south gables are being re-glazed and platforms are also being extensively refurbished. In addition, the brickwork is being cleaned and any ad hoc accretions and outdated services stripped out.

The two barrel-vaulted roofs are currently being refurbished, with the first section of the work soon to be unveiled, and are being lined with energy-saving photo-voltaic arrays along the linear roof lanterns. JMP has designed a new glass footbridge – which has recently been installed – to extend across the Main Train Shed, replacing the old mid-shed Handyside bridge and giving access to every platform as well as the mezzanine level of the concourse.

JMP’s design integrates the main and suburban train sheds for the first time, creating a completely coherent groundplan for passenger movements into and through the station. Improvements to the Suburban Train Shed located to the north of the Western Concourse and Western Range buildings will enhance the operation of its three platforms (the busiest in the station during peak-hours at King’s Cross).

Network Rail’s ambitious transformation of the station, with John McAslan + Partners as lead architect, creates a remarkable dialogue between Cubitt’s original station and 21st Century architecture, marking a shift in strategic infrastructural design in the UK. This relationship between old and new will raise King’s Cross position to that of a modern transport super hub, whilst revitalising and unveiling one of the great railway monuments of Britain.



July 7, 2011

midi station in Brussels | Atelier jean Nouvel AJN

midi station by jean nouvel located in brussels, belgium
image © ateliers jean nouvel

french architect jean nouvel has unveiled the preliminary design for the midi station renovation project located in brussels, belgium.
the proposed buildings will transform the existing railway station into a symbolic destination for travelers while simultaneously
announcing their arrival to the capital city of both belgium and the european union.

view from the esplanade de l’europe
image © 
ateliers jean nouvel

a 550 meter long facade comprised of retail, offices and a conference center will border the heavily frequented avenue fonsny at ground level.
the exterior will be clad with orange hued panels while visible vegetation accent multiple staggered roof terraces. the distinctive v-shaped silhouette
emerges from the elongated base generating a prominent urban landmark. the extensive glass curtain wall will envelope the angled facades reflecting
the lively and continuous train activity into the surrounding landscape creating a dynamic urban mirror.

view from the avenue paul henri spaak day
image © ateliers jean nouvel

view from the docks
image © ateliers jean nouvel

view at the foot of building v
image © jean nouvel

view from the center of brussels
image © ateliers jean nouvel

view from the avenue paul henri spaak night
image © ateliers jean nouvel

ground plan
image © ateliers jean nouvel

elevation south on avenue fonsny
image © ateliers jean nouvel

partial elevation avenue fonsny
image © ateliers jean nouvel

June 6, 2011

Berlin Central Station | gmp Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner

Competition 1993 – 1st Prize

Design Meinhard von Gerkan and Jürgen Hillmer

Design team Jens Kalkbrenner, Manfred Stanek

Project managers, long-distance rail Hans-Joachim Glahn, Klaus Hoyer

Project manager, glass roofs Prisca Marschner

Project managers, building slabs Prisca Marschner, Susanne Winter

Project team Christel Timm-Schwarz, Bettina Kreuzheck, Michael Scholz, Petra Kauschus, Monica Sallowsky, Tomomi Arai, Klaus-Dieter Schimpf, Ivan Ivanov, Katrin Junge, Jan Koettgen, Karsten Fritsche, Burkhard Pick, Risteard Mac Diarmada, Silke Petry, Bernd Kottsieper, Dirk Tietgen, Matthias Holtschmidt, Kemal Akay, Andreas Ebner, Frank Anacker, Stefan Both, Henning Raske, Meinhard Rudolph, Jochen Köhn, Dirk Hünerbein, Hubertus Pieper, Vita Römer, Elisabeth Mittelsdorf, Ralph Preuß, Peter Karn, Amra Sternberg, Radmilla Blagovcanin, Ahrend Buchholz-Berger, Hans Münchhalfen, Maike Carlsen, Ivanka Perkovic, Antje Pfeifer

Structural engineering Schlaich Bergermann und Partner; IVZ/Emch+Berger

Lighting design Peter Andres + Conceptlicht GmbH

Mechanical services Ingenieurgesellschaft Höpfner

Client Deutsche Bahn AG represented by DB Projekt Verkehrsbau GmbH

Construction period 1996–2006

Gross floor area 175,000 m² – 5 transportation levels

Site area 100,000 m²


Juergen Schmidt

Luftbild Berlin

Marcus Bredt



Berlin’s new Central Station – Europe’s largest train station for long-distance, regional, and local transport – was built on its historical site in the Tiergarten District, west of Humboldthafen. At this station the new underground north-south link of the InterCityExpress service connects with the west-east line running on a curved railway track. Additionally, suburban railway tracks in both directions, as well as an underground line from north to south arrive at this station. The north-south track runs 15 m below ground level in a tunnel, which also passes below the River Spree and the Tiergarten. A train station for long-distance journeys with eight platforms, four platforms for long-distance and regional transport as well as a new train station for the U5 underground line positioned parallel to the eastern platform was realized in this location. The east-west line is elevated 10 m above street level und corresponds to the previous course of the railway tracks. A total of four long-distance railway tracks and two urban train tracks run on four newly constructed urban railway bridges.

The traffic of the train station is organized on three levels:

Level –2:
Long-distance and regional lines
from north to south; U5 underground
Level ±0:
Local public transport; individual
transport (access road, short-term
car park); bicycles and pedestrians;
tourist transport (coaches, ships)
Level +1:
Long-distance and regional lines
on the urban railway track; S3, S5,
S6, S7, and S9 urban railway lines.

The new Berlin Central Station comprises a total floor area of 175,000 m², with approximately 15,000 m² reserved for shops and gastronomy, 50,000 m² are provided as office space in the arch buildings, 5,500 m² serve for operational railway use as well as 21,000 m² as circulation area. The  platforms cover an area of 32,000 m², the garage comprises 25,000 m².

April 30, 2011

Illegal Immigration Base In Calais | Hugo Kaici & Felix de Montesquiou

Illegal Immigration Base In Calais / Architecte D.E.S.A © Architecte D.E.S.A

Illegal Immigration Base In Calais / Architecte D.E.S.A © Architecte D.E.S.A

Illegal Immigration Base In Calais / Architecte D.E.S.A © Architecte D.E.S.A

Illegal Immigration Base In Calais / Architecte D.E.S.A © Architecte D.E.S.A

Illegal Immigration Base In Calais / Architecte D.E.S.A © Architecte D.E.S.A

Illegal Immigration Base In Calais / Architecte D.E.S.A © Architecte D.E.S.A

Illegal Immigration Base In Calais / Architecte D.E.S.A © Architecte D.E.S.A

Illegal Immigration Base In Calais / Architecte D.E.S.A © Architecte D.E.S.A

Illegal Immigration Base In Calais / Architecte D.E.S.A © Architecte D.E.S.A

Illegal Immigration Base In Calais / Architecte D.E.S.A © Architecte D.E.S.A

Illegal Immigration Base In Calais / Architecte D.E.S.A © Architecte D.E.S.A

Illegal Immigration Base In Calais / Architecte D.E.S.A © Architecte D.E.S.A

Illegal Immigration Base In Calais / Architecte D.E.S.A © Architecte D.E.S.A

Illegal Immigration Base In Calais / Architecte D.E.S.A © Architecte D.E.S.A

Illegal Immigration Base In Calais / Architecte D.E.S.A © Architecte D.E.S.A

plan 01 plan 01

plan 02 plan 02

plan 03 plan 03

plan 04 plan 04

axometric axometric

diagram diagramdiagram diagram

Architects: Hugo Kaici & Felix de Montesquiou
Photographs: Courtesy of  & 

The city of , located at only 42km of the British coast, is the hottest spot of illegal migration in. When Sarkozy closed the Sangatte immigrant center a year ago, we decided to react on the subject, in a very ironical and cynical way. This is when we decided to design an illegal immigration base.

As we always wanted to work on the German bunkers on the French coast, we decided to reverse the idea of the Atlantik Wall, built to prevent the allies army from getting in, to facilitate the migration of those wanting to reach England.

This idea is reinforced by the fact that the site we choose was one of the most fortified by the Germans.This is why the infrastructure is disguised as a abandoned bunker.

Our company, NEMO (for Northern Europe Migrants Organisation) is meant to undertake the business of illegal immigration from the Kurdish mafia, monopolizing the sector in a very brutal and inhuman way.

The architecture is minimal, the services provided in the infrastructure are only those we thought essential to a migrant in transit. But at the same time we tried to incorporate details to humanize this very brutal building

We wanted to play with the confusion between the true and the false; although the idea is totally mad and unrealistic, we tried to stage the project into reality. We used photo realistic renders, and  an ultra commercial approach.

And we went even as far as depositing a building permit (that was immediately thrown back to our faces). This is why the program is at the same time minimal ( absolutely no superficial function) and grandiose (monumental structure in the cliffs of the North of 

In our very realistic / cynical / commercial approach, we simulated a business plan for this illegal company, and created a website to advertise the infrastructure, and to book your illegal immigration ticket.

April 30, 2011

NBHW Fire Station | LIAG Architects

NBHW Fire Station / LIAG Architects © Bernard Faber

NBHW Fire Station / LIAG Architects © Bernard Faber

NBHW Fire Station / LIAG Architects © Bernard Faber

NBHW Fire Station / LIAG Architects © Bernard Faber

NBHW Fire Station / LIAG Architects © Bernard Faber

NBHW Fire Station / LIAG Architects © Bernard Faber

NBHW Fire Station / LIAG Architects © Bernard Faber

site plan site plan

elevation 01 elevation 01

elevation 02 elevation 02

elevation 03 elevation 03

elevation 04 elevation 04

elevation 05 elevation 05

section 01 section 01

section 02 section 02

section 03 section 03

section 04 section 04

Architects: LIAG Architects
Project area: 11,815 sqm
Project year: 2006 – 2010
Photographs: Bernard Faber

The building is characterised by a complex structure, partly the result of the necessary close proximity of the fireman’s rooms to the depot in a volume that must conform to stringent town planning conditions.

A design was chosen that runs from its abutment with the council offices up towards the railway tracks, rising to a height of about 20 metres, thereby accentuating the entrance to the city centre. The highest point of the design is removed as far as possible from the council offices. The council wished for a high point marking the entrance to the city of .

There is parking on the roof, out of sight of the ground floor. The visible strong slanting line on the front and back of the building forms the access ramp for the parking.

Energy Neutral Building

LIAG and the municipality of  joined forces in an ambitious plan for a sustainable and energy efficient building. The municipality of  has the policy that all its buildings must perform 20% better than the applicable legal norms.

Aside from a balanced choice in materials with attention for environmental impact in manufacturing and recycling, use has been made of building elements that due to their size and detail can easily be reused and fit within the vision of ‘Cradle-to-Cradle’ building. In this way all the windows of the offices are one size and a high degree of repetition of elements has been chosen in the façade. Many of these elements can easily be reused at the end of their current useful life-cycle.

Use is made of underground thermal energy storage (UTES) to achieve a pleasant and comfortable indoor climate using a minimum of energy. In order to further utilize this system the parking deck is used as a solar collector. Water hoses will be built into the parking deck to pump water heated by the sun into the ground so that cold water can be pumped up to be used to cool in summer, and warm during winter, the building of 8,500 m2 gfa and the adjoining council offices of 12,500 m2 gfa. This system means that a new boiler is not required for the 8,500 m2 of additional functions. All energy required by the fire station and the Brijder care centre for addicts will come from the UTES installation. Additionally the UTES system can be used to keep the parking deck ice-free in winter.

This building design actually works as an energy/climate plant with general functions for the municipality of .

April 23, 2011

The Northwest Maritime Center | Miller Hull Partnership

The mission of the Northwest Maritime Center is to engage and educate people of all generations in traditional and contemporary maritime life, in a spirit of adventure and discovery. As the first LEED™ Gold non-proft waterfront center in Washington State, the new community and education facility was recently completed. The project is divided into two buildings – one housing the educational programs including a boat shop, classrooms, and a replica pilot house. The other building promotes the rich maritime heritage of the community with a chandlery (retail space), small vessel storage, exhibit and information gallery, community meeting rooms, and office spaces for maritime partner organizations. The buildings surround a paved public plaza designed to not only provide a link between the NWMC education pier, jetty, public boardwalk and the buildings, but also house major community events and ensure public shoreline access in perpetuity. A second level balcony connects the two buildings while providing great views to Port Townsend Bay and the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges.

As an organization committed to promoting and preserving maritime heritage, industry, skills, and culture, one of the primary goals of this project was not only to protect but to actually improve and restore the waters of the Puget Sound. From energy use reduction to habitat restoration and material selection – all aspects of impacts were considered by the client and the design team. A community-based planning process more than 10 years in the making, the design team focused on making sound sustainability-focused planning decisions early that helped ensure that, as technology has evolved, the design has been able to effectively respond and adapt.

Northwest Maritime Center / Miller Hull © Nic Lehoux

Northwest Maritime Center / Miller Hull © Nic Lehoux

Northwest Maritime Center / Miller Hull © Nic Lehoux

Northwest Maritime Center / Miller Hull © Nic Lehoux

Northwest Maritime Center / Miller Hull © Nic Lehoux

Northwest Maritime Center / Miller Hull © Nic Lehoux

Northwest Maritime Center / Miller Hull © Nic Lehoux

Northwest Maritime Center / Miller Hull © Nic Lehoux

pedestrian context pedestrian context

pier sunlight diagram pier sunlight diagram

site location site location

Architects: Miller Hull Partnership
Structural Engineer: Quantum Consulting Engineers
Owner/Developer: Northwest Maritime Center
General Contractor: Primo
Landscape Architect: GGLO
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Nic Lehoux

As a nonprofit organization committed to promoting and preserving a rich maritime heritage, on-the-water programs, and nurturing the art and craft of wooden boats, the Northwest Maritime Center was designed not only to protect but to actually improve and restore the waters of the Puget Sound. From energy use reduction to habitat restoration and material selection–all aspects of sustainability were considered by the client and the design team.

Located in  the Northwest Maritime Center, truly reflects its surrounding community. The center recently achieved  Certification, and was designed by .  Follow the break to read more about this project, along with additional photographs and drawings.

The site of the Northwest Maritime Center was formerly a bulk oil terminal for over eighty years. To clean up this critical waterfront property on  Bay, more than 2,400 tons of contaminated soil was removed and properly disposed and the old pier that supported barges loaded with oil was removed.

The new pier, the hub of the center’s on-the-water programs, was designed to minimize shadows over prime eelgrass habitat. Construction utilized innovative materials such as reflective panels and grating, and included a voluntary planting of more than 8,000 shoots of new eelgrass to restore fragmented eelgrass beds in the bay. Students and volunteers from the community assisted scientists and divers in the restoration process. Eelgrass plays a vital role in a shoreline’s ecosystem as it is the nursery grounds for many fish and shellfish species. The first water source heat exchanger plates were installed in Puget Sound under the new pier to utilize the temperature of water to efficiently heat and cool the buildings.In a unique public/private partnership, access to the shoreline, the center’s second level walkways, as well as the waterfront boardwalk, were deeded to the city in perpetuity, making the outdoor spaces a gathering place for both visitors and full-time residents of . In addition, the maritime center partnered with the city in a pilot project for development of a low impact development (LID) pedestrian streetscape. This included the installation of raingardens to control and treat stormwater due to the proximity of Puget Sound. The center also worked with the city to establish the first Transportation Demand Management Plan in the city to reduce vehicle trips and parking congestion, and provide ample bike storage and outlets for electric cars.Other energy use reduction strategies included abundant natural daylight and ventilation achieved through operable clerestory windows running the length of the buildings which minimized the need for artificial lighting. Furthermore, 100 percent of the center’s power derived from Puget Sound Energy is from the utility company’s “green power” program, thereby reducing the center’s energy load on the city’s power grid. One element that was not installed due to funding constraints was a solar system to reduce electrical usage. However, the center is primed and wired for solar panels to be installed on the roof if funding becomes available at a future date.“A community-based planning process more than 10 years in the making, we ensured the Northwest Maritime Center’s two buildings were compatible with the other historic structures in’s National Landmark Historic District,” said Craig Curtis, partner at Miller Hull and the lead designer of the project. “The two buildings, constructed of over 60% of FSC certified wood, occupy a prime location at the end of Water Street, at the transition between the old brick buildings of the late 1890’s and the adjacent Coast Guard clapboard buildings at the Point Hudson Marina, which were constructed in the 1930′s.”A move toward  certification was conducted at the later stages of the design process. “The intent was always to build a sustainable building,” said Curtis. “However, a donor learned that the project would easily qualify as a certified building under the LEED program.” The Martin/Fabert Foundation stepped forward to support the campaign’s additional costs to incorporate other sustainable elements that would help it achieve  certification

“Every sustainable project needs a champion and given the center’s mission, sustainability goals, and prime location on Puget Sound, it was a wise investment on our part,” said Lisa Martin. “We strongly believe that a sustainable building is key to ensuring the health of the center and its programs for future generations.”The  specializes in award-winning design for public works buildings that actively engage their communities. Miller Hull’s built work spans a wide range of project types such as interpretive, community and nature centers, museums, city halls and public administration buildings, libraries, schools, higher education facilities, mixed use buildings, laboratories, corporate offices, condominiums and small residences. The  is the recipient of the National Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects.