The feeling of accomplishment that comes from designing successful civic projects is deeply related to the impact the work can make for public agencies and users. And even though designing civic buildings can present special challenges – funding constraints, public involvement and outreach – the work is often extremely rewarding. With a history steeped in creating public buildings and spaces, we at THA have deep respect for the public institutions that see benefit in investing in quality design for their projects – and in turn, we value our opportunities to work with them.
Just recently, the Russell T. Joy Building on University of Washington’s Tacoma campus received an award that we feel especially honored to be part of. The AIA Washington Council’s 2013 Civic Design Awards Jury (honoring “contributions to great public design”) recognized the project with a Merit Award, in part because of its transformation from abandoned warehouse to a place that actively engages its street presence.
“This project is exciting, in part, because of the way the railway was used as the spine for the campus. The building originally had a street presence on the main street (Pacific Avenue). This design flips that and amazing things were done to the back side of the building to create a spectacular change.” –Jury Comment
Our project was just one of many recognized for outstanding civic design, and all are worth a look. All the winners and entries can be seen on the AIA Washington’s website.
Photos by Lara Swimmer