University of Washington Tacoma Master Plan

Tacoma, Washington

Project Size:

Gross area: 46 acres

Project Status:

Completed 1997

Selected Awards

1999 National Trust Historic Preservation

Honor Award

1999 AIA

National Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design

1998 Northwest Construction

Award for Outstanding Renovation Project

The 395,000 sf, 46-acre master plan integrates adaptive re-use of 22 historic buildings with new facilities and infrastructure to transform a decaying industrial area into a thriving campus branch. The plan, completed in 1997, has been implemented in phases and the campus currently serves 3,000 students.

An underlying principle of the master plan is the physical, social and economic linkage of the campus to the surrounding city. The urban street grid is retained through the campus, dedicating some streets to pedestrian circulation and keeping other critical arterials open to vehicular traffic. To enhance commercial activity as an integral part of campus life, retail development sites are advantageously positioned at both the campus periphery and within the campus core, and essential student services (book stores, housing, food service, etc.) are delivered completely through the private sector.

While planning and designing initial campus development, LMN also worked with the City of Tacoma to develop a master plan for the downtown core, which wraps around the UWT campus. Downtown, then economically depressed, is regenerated by linking major civic projects—the campus, the waterfront, art museums and convention center— to create synergistic opportunities for private development.