9.8.2019

The new Tukwila Urban Center Bridge

LMN Architects celebrates the completion of two new pedestrian and bicycle bridges in Spokane and Tukwila, Washington. The projects aspire to contribute to the regeneration, wellbeing, and vitality of the Pacific Northwest, elevating the social experience for the citizens of each community.

The new Tukwila Urban Center Bridge is adjacent to Bicentennial Park and crosses the Green River in Tukwila, a suburban city bordering Seattle at its northern edge. The watercourse flows out of the Cascade Mountains through communities in Washington state, and is important for salmon spawning and has traditionally been a tribal fishing river in the Pacific Northwest. The bridge has been designed to celebrate the history of the river, protect the local natural habitat, and create a new pedestrian connection between the commercial district in the west and the eastern part of the city.

The form of the 220-foot structure was inspired by tribal canoes and is defined by the 45-foot high bowstring arch and the 16-foot wide concrete deck. On the edges of the crossing path, the bridge dematerializes and opens to the water flowing below with stainless steel grills used to reduce shade and open the surface to sunlight. This design element enhances the natural flow of the river and is important in creating a bright, welcoming habitat for salmon to swim downstream on their journey to the Pacific Ocean, where they grow to become adults.

The simple form of the bridge reflects a balance between the human scale and the scale of the city, establishing a monumental presence that creates a new sense of place along the Green River Trail. The bridge is illuminated with LED lighting that can be modulated in different colors and light levels, creating a dynamic play of color.

Howard Fitzpatrick, Principal, comments: “Tukwila wanted their new pedestrian bridge to be more than a convenient way to get across the Green River; they wanted an icon to represent their city’s growth and vitality. We are honored to have had the opportunity to give form to their aspirations.”

The new Tukwila Urban Center Bridge conveys simplicity, clarity, and lightness. Moreover, the project is key to implementing the land use and transportation goals of the Tukwila Urban Center Plan and creates a safe and enjoyable walking and biking experience for the Tukwila community.

Walt Niehoff, Design Partner, comments: “We have had the honor to work on the new University District Gateway Bridge and the Tukwila Urban Center Bridge for almost ten years, and we are proud to contribute to the regeneration and vitality of each community with two projects that are open, unique and accessible to each locality. These projects reflect our design philosophy and aspire to elevate the social experience for all the residents and visitors.”

LMN Architects has worked in 34 States as well as locations in Canada, and is a leader in the tools of architectural practice required to produce projects that support smart, sustainable, cities. The firm has successfully completed more than 700 projects across North America, including the double LEED Platinum Vancouver Convention Centre West in Vancouver, Canada; Cleveland Convention Center & Civic Core in Cleveland, Ohio; Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, Texas; and the Voxman Music Building at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. The firm’s ongoing dedication to communities at all scales is underscored by its important, iconic work across Washington state and beyond.

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