University of Washington Tacoma Keystone Building

Tacoma, Washington

Project Size:

11,000 square feet

Project Status:

Completed 2001

Selected Awards

2003 AIA

Northwest & Pacific Region, Honor Award

2003 AIA

Washington Council Civic Design Awards, Award of Merit

2002 AIA

Seattle Chapter, Award of Merit

Located amidst 19th century warehouse structures where street alignments shift in response to an intersecting railroad, the building’s functional organization, simple prismatic shape and architectural expression are emphatically generated by its context.

Building edges engage the campus’s urban character, define common spaces and clarify pedestrian circulation.  The entrance plaza connects to the central campus hill climb and serves as a gathering place for students and faculty. A new pedestrian overpass—in the form of a straightforward steel truss—stretches over the railway lines to provide a new campus linkage through the building’s circulation core.

Expression of materiality and detail respond to the historic character of adjacent buildings while exerting a modern sensibility. Taut and muscular, the brick façade is animated with a pattern of openings and canopies derived from specific program functions and circulation flow, registering the daily activities of the facility within the experience of the surrounding campus.