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.”