2014 Awards

Lake to Bay

Lake 2 Bay

The connection between Lake Union and Elliott Bay has deep historical roots. A Duwamish village at the south end of Lake Union once connected via a westward trail through a meadow to Elliott Bay, where Native Americans maintained fishing encampments. Citizens, neighborhood groups, and city planners have long dreamed of reconnecting Lake Union, Seattle Center, and Elliott Bay.In 1999, SDOT, the City, and Seattle Center partnered to develop the original concept of a link between Elliott Bay and Lake Union. In 2008, a group of stakeholders came together to champion the Lake to Bay Loop, which resulted in the current on-the-street wayfinding that identifies a 3.75-mile pedestrian path.In 2013, the Lake2Bay Coalition, a citizen / stakeholder group, developed a comprehensive public space vision for the area between the waterfront and South Lake Union, which includes some of our most important and iconic public spaces - Seattle Center, Myrtle Edwards Park, the SAM Olympic Sculpture Park, Denny Park, and Lake Union Park.In our reviews, we made recommendations for the Lake to Bay plan, including:

  • Develop an implementation strategy that allows the trail to be built incrementally so that pieces can be done as opportunities arise (2001).
  • Because the future of the project is uncertain and depends on the Alaskan Way Viaduct alternatives, we encourage the project team to identify temporary and inexpensive ways in which the public can understand the meaning and design intent of the trail (2002).

The work of the Lake2Bay Coalition has taken the Lake to Bay Loop to its next iteration by reimagining this city-defining connection. Download their recently completed Opportunities Plan and visit Lake2Bay page at Seattle Parks Foundation for more information.

Kirke Park

Kirke Park

With funding from the 2000 Pro Parks Levy, Seattle Parks and Recreation purchased a 0.8-acre residential property in Ballard to develop a defunct "church" site into a new neighborhood park. For almost two years the community made the park their own, adapting the remaining relics of the church for play, events, and work parties. They discovered a "Magic and Mystery" within the park that Site Workshop was eager to preserve.Formerly the 9th Ave NW Park, Kirke Park honors the Norwegian heritage of the neighborhood. Kirke, "church" in Norwegian, also references the Church of Seventh Elect in Spiritual Israel, which stood as a cultural institution of the neighborhood at the site for more than 90 years. The new park includes several "rooms" that reflect the site's past and the neighborhood's future, including:

  • A community garden with edible plantings that continue the site's history of producing food
  • A secret garden tucked inside three relic walls to provide a quiet, introspective space
  • A gathering plaza that acts as the "front porch" and connects to the open lawn, providing the structure for community events and informal play

The park effectively mixes creative and physical play, exploration and discovery, and the beauty of the natural world.Kirke Park was also a pilot project for the new Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES). Like LEED for buildings, SITES provides comprehensive guidelines for environmentally responsible site development, focusing on soil health, water use, ecological benefits, materials, and maintenance resources.


  • Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation


  • Site Workshop Landscape Architect
  • WR Consulting Civil Engineering
  • AES Associates Electrical Engineering

Visit the Kirke Park page at Seattle Parks and Recreation.

UW West Campus Alley Vacation

UW West Campus

In 2008, the University of Washington developed a comprehensive student housing master plan for the campus. Located at NE Campus Pkwy and Brooklyn Ave NE, Elm Hall and Alder Hall are two of the four student housing facilities built as Phase 1 of this master plan. To fully develop the sites of Elm and Alder Halls, the University petitioned to close, or "vacate", two alleys, which allowed the project to strengthen the quality of the architecture along NE Campus Pkwy and create opportunities to enhance the public realm.

Owner / Client Team

  • University of Washington Owner / Client
  • Spectrum Development Services Project Management Consulting
  • Seneca Real Estate Group Alley Vacation Permitting Consultant
  • EA Engineering, Science and Technology Environmental Consulting

Design Team

  • Mahlum Architect
  • Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Landscape Architect
  • SvR Design Company Civil Engineer

South Transfer Station

South Transfer Station

One of two City-owned solid waste transfer stations in Seattle, South Transfer Station receives the majority of refuse and yard waste collected by garbage trucks. The facility consolidates waste into shipping containers for long-haul transport to the Columbia Ridge Landfill in Oregon. Yard waste is delivered to a composting facility and other recyclables shipped to recycling processors.South Transfer Station replaced the South Recycling and Disposal Station. Seattle needed a new transfer station to maintain reliable transfer of waste and recyclables out of the city in a safe and environmentally sound manner. Seattle Public Utilities also needed a new station to manage the variety of waste in a way that would allow the City to divert more materials from disposal and increase the recycling rate.Carol dePelecyn, artist-in-residence at South Transfer Station, integrated artwork into the new facility's design. In response to the community's love for the nearby South Park Bridge, and given her practice of repurposing salvaged industrial materials, dePelecyn memorialized the bridge with a sculpture made from decking of the dismantled bridge. She also designed a mural for the north and south walls of the main building.


  • Seattle Public Utilities

Design-Build Team

  • M.A. Mortenson Company Design-Build Lead
  • URS Corporation Design Lead
  • The Miller Hull Partnership Architectural Design
  • Swift Co. LLC Landscape Architecture
  • O'Brien & Company LEED Consulting
  • WPA, Inc. Facility Signage


  • Carol dePelecyn

Visit the South Transfer Station page at Seattle Public Utilities.

Honorable Mention

Bell Street Park

Bell St Park

Bell Street Park is a hybrid of park spirit and street functions. Four blocks between 1st and 5th Avenues are the first phase of a long-range vision for a green street corridor stretching from Elliott Bay through Belltown to historic Denny Park. When rising land values made the acquisition of parkland in the vicinity difficult, community leaders and Seattle Parks and Recreation saw the public right-of-way as an underused resource that could help meet the open space needs of residents. The design and permitting process lasted from 2009 to 2013. The project was conducted between 2013 and March 2014, and had a budget of approximately $3 million.The project's biggest challenge was safely adding park quality experiences - strolling and playing, gathering and eating - while retaining vehicle access. Belltown deserved an outdoor living room, but this street park would also continue to serve cars, bikes, buses, and emergency vehicles. Three key decisions addressed these conflicting needs:

  1. Turn one traffic lane and one parking lane into multifunctional park use
  2. Elevate the roadway to the sidewalk level to create a curbless and continuous surface
  3. Mix park and street elements into a wall-to-wall tapestry of shared space that blurs the boundaries between pedestrian and vehicle areas


  • Seattle Parks and Recreation


  • SvR Design Company Prime, landscape architecture and civil engineering
  • Hewitt Landscape architecture and urban design
  • WSP Electrical and lighting
  • ReadWagoner Community involvement


  • Sheila Klein

Visit the Bell Street Park page at Seattle Parks and Recreation.

Madison Valley Stormwater Project Phase II

Madison Valley Stormwater Project

This second part of a multi-phase drainage improvement effort addresses the Madison Valley neighborhood's history of major sewer backups and surface water flooding. Phase 2 of the Madison Valley Stormwater Project included:

  • A new 48-inch diameter stormwater pipeline between East John Street and Washington Park
  • A partially below-ground, 1.3-million gallon stormwater storage tank with an art wall
  • A 0.9-million gallon above-ground stormwater holding area in Washington Park

Adam Kuby's artwork, Hydro-Bio-Geo, animates the exposed façade of the 14-foot-tall holding tank. Downspouts and weep holes send water down the wall to a rain garden below. The downspouts and weep holes become lush and green as they are colonized with moss and ferns. In between, faux-bark façades lead to 29 cavity-nesting bird houses embedded in the wall. What would have been a simple stone wall is now a site for natural processes to emerge and become visible.Hydro-Bio-Geo is a companion piece to multi-part artwork, Incrementally, located nearby at a detention facility. Kuby's artworks are collaborations with the built and natural world that aim to foster a sense of connection in our increasingly fractured environment. Each project provides an opportunity to explore how human activity and natural systems can better coexist, and how art can promote a deeper sense of place.


  • Seattle Public Utilities


  • MWH Americas
  • RH2 Engineering
  • Nakano Associates
  • Davido Consulting Group
  • Aspect Consulting
  • EnviroIssues
  • Staheli Trenchless Consulting

Agency Partners

  • Office of Arts & Culture
  • Department of Planning and Development
  • Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation


  • Adam Kuby

Visit the Madison Valley Stormwater Project page at Seattle Public Utilities.

Fire Station 6 - Central District

Fire Station 6

Located at the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr Way S and S Jackson St in Seattle's Central District neighborhood, Fire Station 6 replaced a beloved but outdated historic building three blocks west. The new station design provides up-to-date facilities, improves firefighter response time, and creates safer vehicle circulation while establishing a strong civic presence at a busy and, until now, overlooked intersection.The highly transparent apparatus bay puts the fire trucks on display and advertises its presence to the surrounding community. The Station Office's location at street level adjacent to the apparatus bay offers visibility in multiple directions and creates a readily identifiable front door staffed 24/7.A small plaza at the northeast corner of the site affords space for pedestrians to safely observe the inner workings of the apparatus bay, which has proved especially popular for the local preschool population. Artwork above the apparatus bay doors by Seattle artist Steve Gardner references Art Deco symbols from the original station.Fire Station 6 is a LEED Gold building. Sustainability strategies include a ground source heat pump system, a substantial extensive vegetative roof, stormwater reclamation system for irrigation, permeable paving, and energy-efficient HVAC and envelope detailing.


  • City of Seattle

Design Team

  • Weinstein A+U Architect
  • Murase Associates Landscape Architect
  • Magnusson Klemencic Associates Civil Engineer
  • Swenson Say Faget Structural Engineer
  • Stantec Mechanical Engineer
  • Travis Fitzmaurice Electrical Engineer
  • SSA Acoustics Acoustic Consultant


  • Steve Gardner

Visit the Fire Station 6 page.

Seattle Design Commission

Address: 600 4th Avenue, 5th Floor, Seattle, WA, 98124
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 94788, Seattle, WA, 98124-7088
Phone: (206) 684-0435

The Seattle Design Commission advises the Mayor, City Council, and City departments on the design of capital improvements and other projects and policies that shape Seattle's public realm.