Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal - Exterior

Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal


Mukilteo, Washington


Washington State Department of Transportation & Washington State Ferries

Collaborators +

Prime Consultant: KPFF Consulting Engineers (Structural, Civil, and Bridge Engineering)

General Contractor: IMCO General Construction

Mechanical & Plumbing Engineering: FSi Consulting Engineers

Electrical & Civil Engineering: Jacobs Engineering

Landscape Architecture: HBB Landscape Architecture

Lighting Design: Dark Light Design

Signage: Ilium

Project Size

23,710 square feet

Project Status



Certified LEED New Construction Gold


Architecture, Interior Design

The cultural significance of the Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal transcends its function as a critical piece of transit infrastructure. The project is located on the site where the 1855 Point Elliott Treaty was signed, guaranteeing perpetual hunting and fishing rights to the tribes on their ancestral lands. The project illustrates how sensitive placemaking, inclusive engagement, and environmental awareness can redefine civic architecture.

The building’s longhouse form, derived through close collaboration with Coast Salish Tribes, enriches the passenger experience, streamlining circulation and managing large patron flows with intuitive wayfinding. The waiting room is a daylight-filled space with views to land and sea that help orient ferry riders. Tribal cultural artworks created by local Native American artists Kate Ahvakana, Earl Davis, Joe Gobin, and James Madison are displayed throughout the terminal, creating a strong connection to the tribal community and history. A new waterfront promenade connects a path from downtown, through the terminal and onto the beach, creating an elevated pathway for public use.

The Firm worked closely with several Coast Salish Tribes to incorporate environmental stewardship into the concept. The project significantly improves regional mobility while incorporating the cultural influence of the community and paying homage to the site’s historic roots. The ferry terminal demonstrates a sustainable approach and has become a model for how local, state, and tribal governments can work together. The project represents what is possible when the community and a multidisciplinary team collaborate in support of a shared vision.

Photography: Benjamin Benschneider, Adam Hunter

Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal - Interior

The waiting area contains cases for rotating displays of ancient tribal artifacts and contemporary works, including carved pieces by Coast Salish artists.

Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal - Interior
Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal

Efficient heating of the concrete-slab main floor with electric heat pumps provides interior comfort in the winter, while in the warmer months a thermostatically-controlled rack and pinion window system optimizes airflow and comfort.

“This design really created a destination for a building and structure which otherwise would have been a pass-through... Everything about this building made it an experience in and of itself.”

– Jury, 2021 AIA Washington Council Civic Design Awards

KPFF Consulting Engineers

Prime Consultant


Selected Awards

2023 AIA National Honor Award for Architecture

2022 ACEC National Honor Award

2022 U.S. WoodWorks Wood Design Award for Wood in Government Buildings

2022 Build Washington Awards, Highway/Transportation Over $50 Million

2022 Build Washington Awards, Highway/Transportation $15-$50 Million

2022 Build Washington Awards, Grand Award for Construction Excellence

2022 Chicago Athenaeum, American Architecture Award

2021 ENR Northwest Regional Best Projects, Best Airport/Transit Project

2021 AIA Washington Council Civic Design Awards, Honor Design Award

2021 ASCE American Society of Civil Engineers, Project of the Year

2021 WTS International Award for Innovative Transportation Solutions

2021 Conde Nast Best New Ways to Travel, Hot List

2021 WAN Awards, Gold Award

2021 Prix Versailles, Finalist

2021 AIA Seattle Honor Awards, Energy in Design Award

2021 IIDA Northern Pacific Chapter INawards, INpublic Award, Honorable Mention

2021 ASCE Region 8, Project of the Year, Greater than $10 Million

2021 WTS Puget Sound Chapter, Innovative Transportation Solutions Award

2021 ENR Northwest Regional Best Projects, Northwest Project of the Year

2021 ENR Northwest Regional Best Projects, Award of Merit for Sustainability

2020 DJC 2020 Building of the Year, Top 5