METROpolis 2030: RAPID RIDE at Shoreline Aug06


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METROpolis 2030: RAPID RIDE at Shoreline

METROpolis 2030: RAPID RIDE at Shoreline / a look into the summer studio taught by Rick Mohler

Working with King County Metro Transit, the City of Shoreline and local professionals with interest in the project, the studio is pursuing proposals that promote a strong vision for Shoreline Transit Oriented Development along the new Metro Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Rapid Ride ‘E’ line on Aurora Avenue.  At the same time, the studio seeks to address the reality of conditions on the ground and be responsive to the concerns and goals of both Metro and the City of Shoreline.   While the physical, social, economic and political conditions are very challenging, both institutions are deeply committed to positive urban and environmental change and a strong vision for community life in the 21st century.  As a result, the potential for a fundamental and very visible urban transformation both at the immediate site and along the Aurora Avenue corridor is substantial.  Participating students are on the ground floor of an opportunity to explore one of the grand challenges of today, not only as an academic exercise, but as a ‘real world’ project with enormous civic benefit.


Students study recently completed TOD development in Portland

Site: The site is generally referred to as ‘Aurora Square’.   It is bounded by N 160th Street to the north, N155th to the south, Aurora Avenue to the east and property owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation to the west.  Overall, the site is a vast assemblage of parcels amounting to roughly 30 acres of poorly conceived suburban retail development, much of it a parking lot.  However, the overall site can be subdivided into more manageable sections that correspond to potential phasing of extended TOD development.  The site slopes downward to the southeast at a relatively consistent gradient. The site offers strong opportunities for spatial and programmatic connections to adjacent uses including the Interurban Trail, which crosses the eastern edge of the site, and Shoreline Community College, which is less than a half mile west of the site.


Studio Crit with Dan Eernissee, Economic Development Manager, City of Shoreline

Program: The program is yet to be finalized as this will be an area of investigation in the studio.  However, the general program outline is as follows:

Transportation: Metro Rapid Ride Bus Rapid Transit Center; Park and Ride with electric vehicle re-charging stations; Car sharing locations (Zipcar or community car share); Bicycle parking and services.

Housing: A yet to be determined number of student housing units as an extension of SCC to be centrally located within the development; Additional housing units may be proposed in extended areas of the site.

Commercial: Retail and commercial office space; Additional commercial uses could include a bookstore (again, as an extension of SCC), cinema, bars and restaurants.

Performing Arts: Black Box Theater to be used by SCC and other organizations.

Urban Open Space: Essential to the success of this or any urban development proposal is the creation of meaningful and activated urban open space.  An exceptional opportunity is presented by this project to create a pedestrian experience that is in welcome contrast to the surrounding area and provides a catalyst for subsequent positive change.

Green Storm water Infrastructure: As a portion of the extended site will remain as surface parking for the foreseeable future is essential to minimize its environmental impact while enhancing the experience for users.

Green Building Strategies: While specific building design will be limited, strategies for day lighting, passive heating and cooling and on-site energy capture are to be considered at the scale of urban design.


Rapid Ride


Students ponder the vast suburban wasteland that is the site

M.Arch Graduate student Andrew Thies presenting at the studio’s midreview


Student work at midreview


Student work at midreview

Site Phases: Student work at midreview


Site Phases (continued): Student work at midreview




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