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Cherry Parkes Building University of Washington, Tacoma, Washington

The University of Washington’s Tacoma (UWT) campus is a unique model for an urban university.  Located in the heart of Tacoma’s Union Depot Warehouse National Historic District, the UWT offers degree programs for undergraduate and graduate students within renovated structures and new buildings.

BOLA was the design architect for the three-structures that made up Cherry Parkes Building, and provided a pre-design study, programming documents, design, and construction administration.  This building assembly of three adjoining, heavy timber and brick warehouses dating from the 1890s. Together, they provide 72,000 sq. ft. of academic labs, classrooms, offices, restaurant, and service and retail spaces. For this portion of the larger five-building rehabilitation project, BOLA collaborated with McGranahan Architects, the prime architect, and Miller|Hull Partnership.

The Cherry Parkes Building is bordered by Pacific Avenue, a high-traffic thoroughfare on the east, and Commerce Street, the primary pedestrian route for the UWT campus, on the west.  Designs for the restored facades responded to these different contexts.  Interior spaces emphasized the presence of historic bearing brick masonry and heavy timber, with natural illumination, sustainable materials and contemporary minimalist metal details.  An atrium, two-story circulation and gathering spaces were created in the upper floors, and lively retail spaces were inserted along the sidewalk at grade level. BOLA worked in a GC/CM process with the general contractor, Lease Crutcher Lewis, on the construction, and the UW’s Real Estate Division on design of the retail spaces.  This project was the UW’s first LEED silver-certified project.

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