TYPE: Development, Public and Institutional, Retail and Commercial
Client: City of University Place
Market Place Way
University Place, WA
Soluri Architecture (SA) has been working as a consultant to the City of University Place, WA on their Town Center redevelopment project since 2006. During this time period, SA was part of the consultant team that designed a master plan in conjunction with private developers. In 2007, SA won the city’s design competition to be the architect for its 62,000 sq. ft. Civic Building, which now stands at the center of the ongoing Town Center project. The City of UP is best known as the home of the Chambers Bay Golf Course, which hosted the 2015 US Open.
With over two-thirds of the town center now redeveloped, the City of UP sought to convey the quality of design and type of development for several of the remaining lots. While ideally suited for one-story retail units, the City wanted mixed-use buildings with second-floor offices throughout the remaining lots because they felt the mixed-uses would help achieve their goals of an activated urban town center. Further to these goals they also wanted one of the lots to include a 40-key hotel. Soluri Architecture was hired to quickly develop concept design schemes with renderings to show how these mixed-use buildings could look using a higher standard of design than is typical for regional retail developers.
DESIGN PROCESS & INTENT
Because of our significant body of work over the previous 10 years on the Town Center project, we were able to quickly mobilize using this work, which included background drawings, 3D BIM models, and analysis diagrams. The architectural language and material palette for our concept designs evolved from a prior analysis which identified the key elements that make UP and the region unique – such as the impressive natural environment of the Pacific Northwest, the stark beauty of Chambers Bay, a strong industrial legacy, and a progressive, active community. We also incorporated the City’s desire for sustainable design and a walkable, friendly, and urban environment by adding green roofs, green walls, numerous permeable public plazas, wide landscaped sidewalks, and architecture that opened up to the sidewalks. Within these features, we designed buildings that could accommodate different tenant configurations while incorporating the practical needs of retailers.
The final concept renderings were presented to the public, city council, and private developers. They showed a series of contemporary mixed-use buildings within a walkable town center that evoke the spirit and environment of UP and the Pacific Northwest. The renderings were also publicly presented in July 2015 at an international conference in Bristol, England that focused on making cities more livable, sustainable, and walkable.