LMN Architects Celebrates Opening of Sound Transit U District Station | New
Seattle, Oct 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – LMN Architects celebrates the opening of the U District station and the completion of the 4.3 mile Northgate Link extension with three new light rail stations. The 105,000 square foot station design creates a unified transportation solution and provides a new gateway to the University of Washington campus.
Seattle’s University District is a vibrant and eclectic mixed-use community located directly between the city’s downtown core and the booming neighborhoods to the north. With the Seattle campus of the University of Washington and numerous commercial enterprises creating a destination for thousands of students, workers and visitors every day, this new station anticipates a record number of passengers in fulfilling its role. central to Seattle’s urban evolution.
The U District station, designed in collaboration with McMillen Jacobs Associates, provides pedestrians, cyclists, bus commuters and residents with a highly functional, easy-to-use, scale-appropriate transit hub ideally located for their various activities.
Mark Reddington, Partner, LMN Architects, comments: “This project is a model of urban transport infrastructure and involves a complex of interconnected stations that we have been designing for Sound Transit for many years. Integrated into Seattle’s urban fabric, the District U Station and its associated public spaces, along with the significant use of color, art and lighting, have helped connect major urban mobility systems, integrated into the immediate neighborhood community.
U District Station is the first stop on the Northgate Link, a 4.3 mile northbound light rail extension from the University of Washington station. With the rail platform located 85 feet below street level, most of the station’s 105,000 square foot area is underground, served by two entrances on Brooklyn Avenue NE between NE 43rd Street and NE 45th Street. The remainder of the above-ground site hosts a future high-rise transit-focused development project that will be built above the station. Each of the two entrances provides elevators, escalators, and stairs to the trains below. The North Entrance Hall serves passengers heading to and from the adjacent Neptune Theater and Mixed Use Quarter, as well as a major Metro bus transfer hub on NE 45th Street. The South Hall provides pedestrians with a direct link to the UW campus a few blocks east. Creating a pedestrian friendly experience, the sidewalks and streets facing the entrances meet Green Street standards, with extensive landscaping, pedestrian lighting, seating walls and a bike path. For bicycle commuters, the two entrance halls offer bicycle storage and racks.
This bright, open and easy-to-navigate station is expected to serve thousands of daily passengers. Above the ground, a black granite cladding establishes the legibility of the project in an increasingly dense and varied urban environment. When future transit-oriented development completes the block, the entrance structures will effectively integrate into the larger urban setting, retaining their Sound Transit identity.
Daniel N. Adams, Business Development Manager, McMillen Jacobs Associates, comments: “Working with LMN Architects throughout design, construction and commissioning has been extremely rewarding. LMN seamlessly collaborated on what was, at the time, the first use of building information modeling for the agency. We have designed and built a number of subway stations, and the completion of the new U District station with LMN is a good example of what we can build for the advancement of Seattle as the metro area continues to grow and to expand into the new century. “
From the north and south halls, customers descend via the escalator and stair tubes to an open mid-level landing, placed in a large, bulky central space, and continue to the train platform below via open escalators or an open staircase. The landing appears to float above the angled bracing members and is offset to the east. The offset, along with the artwork and video installations on the west wall, creates a design asymmetry that will help define the north-south orientation and directionality on the platform. While passengers wait for their train, they will discover “Fragment Brooklyn” by Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo of Lead Pencil Studio. The artwork is a collection of sculptural pieces formed from metallic fabric woven into stainless steel in architectural appendages containing video screens depicting domestic life.
Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo, Lead Pencil Studio, comment, “This station artwork references the original little-known dish from this neighborhood like the city of Brooklyn, WA. Intended to be similar in every way to the homonymous borough of New York City, the first development model never took root, except that the street name of Brooklyn Avenue stuck. Fragment Brooklyn is an imaginary cityscape of building pieces woven from wire mesh with films that detail quiet moments from domestic life and U-District history. The scale of the artwork, at nearly 300 feet long, is a response to the cathedral-sized volume of the underground station and offers cyclists the opportunity to visually connect with the backdrop of more in addition to urban life above ground.
The large central volume is defined by a white corrugated iron ceiling and sloping walls that conceal the essential functions of the rear of the house. Orientation is enhanced by suspended aluminum tubes containing lights, speakers and other systems, which start at the entrances to the north and south stations and make a path to the platform. Two different colors help passengers orient north and south: orange for north and blue for south.
Howard Fitzpatrick, Director, LMN Architects, comments: “When we started the design, we were aware of the large-scale, but more importantly, transportation and infrastructure needs of the neighborhood and its relationship to the urban setting. The station will bring together commuters, travelers and the local community to experience the city in a new urban “room” steeped in life around the site. We are extremely proud to be a part of this effort to help improve public infrastructure and support Seattle’s urban evolution.
U District station embodies LMN’s public transport design principles: urban readability, simple form, intuitive orientation and memorable public space. It brings another innovative and visionary station to Sound Transit’s growing light rail network. LMN Architects is a recipient of the 2016 AIA National Architecture Firm Award and is widely recognized for its design of projects that support smart and sustainable cities. The company has successfully completed over 700 projects across North America, including the double LEED Platinum Vancouver Convention Center West in Vancouver, Canada; Cleveland Convention Center & Civic Core in Cleveland, Ohio; Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, Texas; and the recently completed Mukilteo multimodal ferry terminal in Mukilteo, Washington. The company’s continued dedication to communities at all scales is underscored by its design approach, creating environments that elevate the social experience.
About LMN Architects Since its founding in 1979, LMN Architects has dedicated its practice to the health and vitality of communities of all scales. Internationally recognized for planning and designing environments that enhance the social experience. The firm works on a variety of types of projects, including higher education establishments, scientific and technological projects, civic and cultural projects, conference and congress centers, mixed urban uses and transport.
LMN has successfully completed over 700 projects across North America, such as the Voxman Music Building at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa; Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, Texas; Vancouver West Convention Center in Vancouver, Canada; Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences Middle School in Seattle, Washington; Bill & Melinda Gates Center for Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington; Sound Transit University of Washington Station in Seattle, Washington; and the recently completed expansion and renovation of the Seattle Asian Art Museum.
Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, the company employs 150 talented professionals practicing architecture, interior design and urban design. The quality of the work has been recognized by nearly 300 national and international design awards, including the prestigious National Architecture Firm Award 2016 from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
For more information on the work of LMN Architects, please visit lmnarchitects.com
Edgar Almaguer, Communications and Media Strategist LMN Architects 2066823460 [email protected]