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May 3, 2021

Projects by two Seattle architects win AIA awards

Photo by Nic Lehoux [enlarge]
Martin’s Lane Winery on the shores of British Columbia’s Okanagan Lake leverages its relationship to the land.

Photo by Kevin Scott [enlarge]
The Sound Transit University of Washington Station is embedded in a complex of uses comprising the university’s Husky Stadium and Alaska Airlines Arena, its historic Rainier Vista campus entrance and a medical center.

The Sound Transit University of Washington Station and Martin's Lane Winery, both designed by Seattle architects, are among 10 winners of 2021 Architecture Awards from the American Institute of Architects.

LMN Architects designed the station in Seattle and Olson Kundig designed the winery in Kelowna, B.C.

The program celebrates the best contemporary architecture and highlights the ways buildings and spaces can improve lives. The winners demonstrate design achievement, including a sense of place, purpose, history and environmental sustainability, the AIA said in a press release.

These are the other winners:

Fass School and Teachers' Residences in Fass, Senegal | Toshiko Mori Architect

The Lamplighter School Innovation Lab in Dallas, Texas | Marlon Blackwell Architects

Loghaven Artist Residency in Knoxville, Tenn. | Sanders Pace Architecture

Northeastern University Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex in Boston, Mass. | Payette

Polygon Gallery in North Vancouver, B.C. | Patkau Architects

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Justice Center in Scottsdale, Arizona | Gould Evans

TWA Hotel in New York City | Beyer Blinder Belle

Walker Art Center Expansion in Minneapolis, Minn. | HGA

The Sound Transit station is embedded in a complex of uses comprising the University of Washington's Husky Stadium and Alaska Airlines Arena, its historic Rainier Vista campus entrance and a medical center, according to information on the winners at the AIA website. It is surrounded by a bicycle and pedestrian trail, 15 bus lines and a nearby freeway. For years, the station's intersection was the grand gateway to the university's campus, but its overlapping uses and the city's population growth reduced it to a quagmire. This project brings much-needed modern infrastructure to Frederick Law Olmsted's century-old master plan while remedying the intersection's woes.

The team created a sense of movement throughout the station and a connection with the neighborhood's urban fabric. A two-level glass and steel entrance frames views of the neighborhood, the Cascade Mountains and Lake Washington. The core experience occurs when the station's escalators and glass elevators enter into its 55-foot high underground chamber, among the largest such volumes in Seattle. The team partnered with artist Leo Saul Berk, whose work, Subterraneum, engages with the architecture and references the geological strata surrounding the station.

Above, the station's bicycle and pedestrian bridge connects to both levels of the entrance. As the bridge curves to span the adjacent boulevard, it connects to Rainier Vista. The bridge is a crucial piece of the city's plan to expand its bicycle commuter network, and it connects, through a bike lane on the State Route 520 floating bridge, to Seattle's Burke-Gilman trail.

The station's plaza and parking area provide space for fans to line up for the university's football games.

Martin's Lane Winery, on Okanagan Lake, leverages its relationship to the land for two complementary functions, according to information on the AIA website. The winery represents the client's decades-long commitment to the Okanagan Valley and its importance on the world's vinicultural map.

The design team was tasked with creating a winery to produce pinot noir. The project is perched on a rocky hillside above the lake, split into two interconnected volumes. The rugged structure features a palette of raw, unfinished materials and neutral tones, and the expected weathering of the exterior's Corten steel will help it blend into the hillside while minimizing maintenance.

The winery's production side harnesses the steep slope for the gravity-flow winemaking process, while the visitor-experience side cantilevers over the vineyards.

Visitors enter through a concrete tunnel that carries them to a subterranean tasting room. Following the light up and through a spiral staircase inspired by the Fibonacci sequence of grapevines, they are then directed to a larger tasting room and hospitality area. Along the way are views of the production process.

Passive principles were employed in the winery design. Its integration into the landscape offers natural ventilation, daylighting and earth cooling that provide a 10% reduction in energy use. The winery's windows and topographical placement allows it to capture cool breezes from the lake, funneling them through the space. The project requires little to no interior conditioning. Its barrel storage, set into the hillside, takes advantage of stable temperatures to maintain an ideal 54 degrees and 75% humidity with no need for conventional heating or cooling systems.

Meiklejohn Architects was the B.C. collaborating architect.

For details and photos of all the projects, go to https://tinyurl.com/pwzbzux9.

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