Sound Transit U Link University of Washington Station

Seattle, Washington

Project Size:

157,856 square feet

Project Status:

Completed 2016


University of Washington Station brings it all together

Daily Journal of Commerce, 3/25/16

Sound Transit to add longer trains to meet unexpected light-rail demand

Seattle Times, 3/23/16

University Link light rail opening 6 months early, $200 million under budget

KING5, 3/19/16

The University of Washington Station is Artistically and Architecturally the Best Link Station

The Stranger, 3/16/16

8 minutes versus 50 minutes: Seattle's new U Link subway system opens Saturday

Puget Sound Business Journal, 3/16/16

Light-rail Plan Gives UW a 'Front Porch'

Seattle Times, 1/12/11

Selected Awards

Fast Company

2016 Innovation by Design Awards, Honorable Mention

World Architecture News

2016 Infrastructure Awards, Finalist

AIA Seattle

2016 Award of Merit

American Architecture Awards

2017 Airports and Transportation Centers


2017 Popular Choice Winner, Architecture + Glass

AIA Washington Council Civic Design Awards

2016 Honorable Mention

City of Seattle Design Commission

2016 Design Excellence Award

More than a light rail station, the Sound Transit University of Washington Station adds multiple facets 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 University of Washington campus through its above and below-grade experiences.

The project includes a train platform 100 feet underground, accessed via escalators and elevators from a 2-level glass entrance structure. LMN Architects and artist Leo Saul Berk collaborated to create an integrated experience for travelers, where the architecture seamlessly merges with his artwork, Subterraneum, that expresses the geological layers of soil surrounding the station walls. 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.

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. “LMN's work at the University of Washington Station beautifully and intricately navigates an almost unbelievably complex urban node,” says Rebecca Barnes, University Architect and Associate Vice Provost for Campus and Capital Planning at the University of Washington. “The outcome is a great architectural and urban design achievement borne of many acts of imaginative and insightful civic leadership.”