LMN Designs Everett Grand Avenue Pedestrian Bridge

Seattle, Washington – October 9, 2019 – LMN Architects is pleased to celebrate the design and construction of the new Everett Grand Avenue Pedestrian Bridge in Everett, Washington. The bridge is a unique piece of public infrastructure that will provide a vital new link between the city of Everett to its growing waterfront district.

The project is emblematic of LMN Architects approach to crafting contemporary, pragmatic and transformative infrastructure within the public realm. The bridge will establish a new connection between the uplands Grand Avenue Park and Downtown Everett and the developing waterfront district, bringing pedestrians and utilities over a steep slope, a busy commercial railway and a state highway. The project will fulfill a decades-long goal for a convenient, non-motorized passage to the waterfront, which features a growing 66-acre mixed-use development, the Everett Farmer’s Market, and the largest public marina on the west coast.

“It has been thrilling to work with the City of Everett and our partners KPFF Engineers in reimagining the civic potential of this important piece of new infrastructure” says LMN Partner Stephen Van Dyck. “This ambitious design is a result of visionary leadership at the City and beyond that is committed to elevating the experience of the city while serving its communities and planning for its future growth.”

Early plans at this location included elevators at both the downhill and uphill approaches, creating a view-blocking elevator bulkhead at the park and requiring extensive disruption to the environmentally critical hillside. By deconstructing the key elements of the project—functional, aesthetic, and environmental—and reimagining the components, the design team developed a solution that eliminated the need for an uphill elevator, preserving the view while greatly minimizing intervention into the steep, 75-foot-high hillside. The new design integrates a sequence of pathways into a sloped truss, eliminating the need for the uphill elevator and saving significant costs, all while elevating the pedestrian experience through a whimsical play of space, light, and structure.

Featuring walking pathways above, around, and within weathered-steel truss, a ribbon of pedestrian ramps creates a playful pathway, acting as switchbacks to reduce the grade change and frame a series of dramatic views to Whidbey Island, the waterfront, and the Olympic Mountains. The ramps bring people through a varied sequence of spaces that interact with the structure, beginning above, then cantilevered outboard over the highway, and finally bringing them within the truss itself.

“Increasing the accessibility of our public spaces is one of the most important investments we can make in building sustainable infrastructure” says Van Dyck. “For this project, accessibility and safety were the primary driving forces in the design, from the integrated railing system to the iconic form of the bridge itself.”

The steel bridge span, weighing nearly 1 million pounds, hybridizes old and new in ways both utilitarian and whimsical. Recalling the hard-working vernacular of a railroad overpass, the weathered steel trusses of the bridge’s frame have been strategically positioned to echo the ramp volumes and sectioned over the active railway to allow for ease of installation during construction. Stormwater overflow piping—the initial impetus for the project—all but disappears beneath the pathway, reinforcing the bridge’s ability to elegantly solve simultaneous challenges. Hillside stormwater and sewer lines will also be replaced as part of the project, and the potential for a future water main crossing is incorporated into the bridge design.

A ribbon of aluminum panels accompanies the pedestrian along the pathway, serving triple duty as safety rails, lighting reflectors, and a unique wayfinding visual element. The panels feature a waterjet-cut perforation pattern that opens views at eye level, becoming denser in proximity to pathway lighting where it serves as a reflector. The pattern is repeated on the base of the elevator tower where it is sandblasted into the concrete to further animate the structure. By embracing a creative, pragmatic approach, the solution addresses both functional and aesthetic demands, weaving urban infrastructure into the city life and becoming a catalyst for continued community revitalization.

LMN Architects is recipient of the 2016 AIA National Architecture Firm Award and is widely recognized for its design of projects that support smart, sustainable, cities. The firm has successfully completed more than 700 projects across North America, including the double LEED Platinum Vancouver Convention Centre West in Vancouver, Canada; Cleveland Convention Center & Civic Core in Cleveland, Ohio; Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, Texas; and the Voxman Music Building at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. The firm’s ongoing dedication to communities at all scales is underscored by its important, iconic work across Washington state and beyond.

Project Credits
Bridge Architect:
LMN Architects
801 Second Avenue, Suite 501
Seattle, Washington 98104

Project Team:
Scott Crawford, Associate AIA
Kyle Kiser, AIA
Mark La Venture, AIA
Kathy Stallings
Stephen Van Dyck, AIA
John Woloszyn, AIA

Structural Engineer:
KPFF Consulting Engineers

Civil Engineer:
KPFF Consulting Engineers

Landscape Design:
City of Everett

Mechanical Engineer:
Tres West Engineers, Inc.

Electrical Engineer:
Stantec

Lighting Concept:
Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design

Plumbing Engineer:
KPFF Consulting Engineers

Elevator:
The Greenbusch Group, Inc.

Geotechnical:
HWA GeoSciences Inc.

Geotechnical:
Landau Associates

ABOUT LMN ARCHITECTS

Since its founding in 1979, LMN Architects has dedicated its practice to the health and vitality of communities of all scales. Internationally recognized for the planning and design of environments that elevate the social experience, the firm works across a diversity of project typologies, including higher education facilities, science and technology, civic and cultural projects, conference and convention centers, urban mixed-use and transportation.

LMN has successfully completed over 700 projects across North America, including the Voxman Music Building at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa; Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, Texas; Vancouver Convention Centre West in Vancouver, Canada; Sound Transit University of Washington Station in Seattle, Washington; and the new Downtown Seattle Hotel.

Based in Seattle, Washington, LMN Architects is led by partners John Chau, Sam Miller, Walt Niehoff, Wendy Pautz, Mark Reddington, George Shaw, Stephen Van Dyck, and Rafael Viñoly-Menendez. The firm employs 150 talented professionals practicing architecture, interior design, and urban design, and the quality of the work has been recognized with nearly 300 national and international design awards, including the prestigious 2016 National Architecture Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).