Solar-powered Mukilteo Multimodal Terminal celebrates native culture


Late last year, the state of Washington welcomed its first new ferry terminal in 40 years — the Mukilteo Multimodal Terminal, a contemporary transit building that pays homage to the environment and the region’s Coast Salish tribes. Seattle-based LMN Architects and KPFF Consulting Engineering designed the two-story, solar-powered terminal building, with input from local tribes, to replace the existing terminal built in 1957. In addition to improving regional mobility to the West Coast’s busiest ferry route for vehicles, the terminal enhances connections to the waterfront with a new waiting room featuring stunning landscape views and a promenade that connects downtown Mukilteo through the terminal and to the beach.

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Commissioned as part of a $187 million replacement project to improve regional mobility, the Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal serves the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry route, a major transportation corridor linking Whidbey Island to the Seattle-Everett metropolitan area. Construction of the ferry building began with the repurposing of a waterfront brownfield site — once used for a U.S. Air Force Cold War fuel depot and pier — and eliminating approximately 10% of the Puget Sound’s remaining toxic creosote piles.

Related: Spectacular green roof tops Vancouver’s double LEED Platinum convention center

transit hub interior with wood ceilings and glass walls
people walking through transit hub with wood ceiling and glass walls

The Coast Salish tribes’ longhouses were the inspiration behind the ferry terminal, which is interwoven with tribal cultural motifs and artwork by local Native American artists James Madison and Joe Gobin. “The Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal is the result of an intensive collaboration between the design, engineering, and contracting teams,” said Howard Fitzpatrick, principal of LMN Architects. “But it would not have been possible without the inspiration and sense of mission that the team drew from our tribal partners. The historic significance of the site to the tribes, combined with its incredible natural beauty, inspired the team to produce a project that is imbued with a deep sense of history, while at the same time recognizing the vitality and forward-looking orientation of the area’s original inhabitants.”

Indigenous art on wood wall
people looking out a wall of glass

In addition to a full array of rooftop solar panels, the Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal features sustainably harvested and locally sourced cross-laminated timber materials, energy-efficient electric heat pumps that heat and cool the concrete-slab main floors, a smart window system that regulates airflow and comfort as well as a pervious outdoor concrete and filtration system that captures and treats stormwater runoff.

+ LMN Architects

Photography by Benjamin Benschneider via LMN Architects

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