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May 24, 2013

Technology Access Foundation Bethaday Community Learning Space

Photo by Benjamin Benschneider [enlarge]
A prominent entry bridge is a powerful metaphor for students leaving the everyday world behind to find respite in a “tree house” where they can work toward a successful future.

Location: Seattle

Architect: Miller Hull Partnership

Agency/owner: Technology Access Foundation

General contractor: Foushee


The Technology Access Foundation building is an inspiring administrative and learning environment for one of Washington’s most successful STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education programs serving students of color.

The heart of the design is a prominent entry bridge that functions as a powerful metaphor for students leaving the everyday world behind to find respite in a “tree house” where they can work toward a successful future. While the overall modern architecture represents the forward-thinking attitude of technology and science education within, a key client design directive was to use salvaged materials to promote sustainability and reinforce the organization’s creative nature by demonstrating reuse, as well as to engage the community through in-kind, physical donations.

Upper and lower floors connect via an open stair that brings light into the building’s core. The lower floor is set into the hillside and contains a large community space that can be opened to the outdoors by raising three glazed garage doors to extend the space onto a covered plaza and into the surrounding park.

Jury comment: “The reuse of materials is ingenious and suits this building type, and the colors on the facade give the building a playfulness that is welcoming. The departure from the orthogonal is interesting. The building is perfectly sited into the existing landscape.”


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