UW Tacoma's Keystone Building wins architecture award

The American Institute of Architects’ Seattle chapter recently gave LMN Architects an Award of Merit for their work on UW Tacoma’s Keystone Building.

Jurors said the building, completed in late 2001, “takes full advantage of a tight urban space with transit connections that lend vigor and viability to its function. With its muscular trusses, it participates in the character of the site, adding a contemporary response to traditional building forms and adapting their vocabulary to new uses.”

The Keystone building was part of UW Tacoma’s second phase of construction. Keystone houses a 180-seat auditorium and a Teaching and Learning Center, which offers tutoring and support for students. It is connected to the new Science Building by a sky bridge over active railroad tracks, providing disabled access up a steep grade to Jefferson Street.

Architects designed a triangular building to fit in the small space at the center of campus. Surrounded on three sides by rehabilitated historic structures, Keystone is faced in brick to blend in with its surroundings.

It’s massive masonry shelters internal spaces from noise and vibration of the adjoining railroad.

UW Tacoma opened to 176 students in 1990 and has grown an average of 15 percent per year since. The permanent campus opened in 1997 with 1,300students. Today the campus enrolls more than 2,000 and graduates more than600 a year.

The Keystone and Science buildings were the first new-construction projects on a campus characterized by refurbished historic warehouses.

UW Tacoma helped fuel development of its urban neighborhood into a museum, education and cultural district that is fast become a major tourism destination with the addition of the Museum of Glass and soon-to-open Tacoma Art Museum.

Right now, two more renovation projects are under way involving five historic warehouses – the Cherry-Parkes building on Pacific Avenue and the Mattress Factory buildings on 21st and C Street. These projects will include space for classrooms, student services, administrative offices and specialized labs.

BKB & Co. opens at UW Tacoma

Another local business has settled on the University of Washington Tacoma campus, in the historic museum and education district around Union Station.
BKB & Company, a wearable and decorative art gallery located in North Tacoma’s historical Bridge District, has opened a second store at 1744 Pacific Ave., in UW Tacoma’s West Coast Grocery building.

BKB & Company is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. For information, contact BKB at 253/272-6884.