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November 10, 2016

Honor award: Modernization and Restoration
Design integrity award
Ford McKay and Pacific McKay reconstruction

Photo by Benjamin Benschneider, courtesy of MIW
The terra-cotta facades of two 1920s auto showroom buildings were meticulously reconstructed and incorporated into the Allen Institute biomedical research building.

Location: Seattle

Mason contractor: Pioneer Masonry Restoration Co.

Architect: BOLA Architecture + Planning

Owner: Vulcan Real Estate

General contractor: GLY Construction

Masonry supplier: Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Marenakos Rock Center

Upzoning, rapid redevelopments and traffic congestion combined to impact two adjoining Seattle landmarks — the terra cotta-clad 1922 Ford McKay and the 1925 Pacific McKay auto showrooms constructed in the final years of Model T production.

The buildings’ original terra-cotta facades, exterior granite, interior marble base, tile fountain, decorative stairs and terrazzo entry were meticulously cataloged, stored and reconstructed.

The reconstruction was a merger of high-tech and low-tech methods to execute the final product with exacting accuracy. The construction technologies and energy and seismic codes have changed over the last 80 years, and the owner wanted a durable, high-performance building with a LEED gold certification.

This led to a more robust and resilient skin than originally constructed to best leverage the reuse of the rich historic masonry, including a drainage plane system, high-performance exterior insulation and seismic tiles in lieu of the traditional uninsulated wire tie-back system.

The synergy of high-tech and old-world techniques brought these landmark buildings from the Model T era into the Tesla age, well-grounded in a changing neighborhood.

In addition to its honor award, the project garnered a design integrity award, which recognizes outstanding displays of craftsmanship, attention to detail, and commitment to all facets of the integrity of the building.

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