The town of Kenmore has been making some big changes downtown and one structure at the heart of the plans will help it truly stand out.
The 24,000-square-foot Town Green is currently under construction on the north side of NE 181st Street and will have bring a public square to the heart of downtown Kenmore. In the middle of that will be the 4,600-square-foot Kenmore Community Building. Designed by Graham Baba Architects, The Community Building is designed to morph depending upon weather or functional requirements.
The space opens to the Town Green via a 24-foot-wide by 16-foot-tall bi-fold window wall. When open, the large roof overhang provides protection from rain and sun, providing easy access to the 14,000-square-foot plaza. The plaza features a fountain and heated rocks to encourage people to hang out. The inverted roof lifts up from the building and gestures toward the park. The gap between building and roof becoming a dramatic clerestory. At night, the extensive glazing transforms the building into a giant lantern.
Inside, the structure includes a partitionable, multi-use assembly space for public gatherings, music performances, dance classes, movies, and other activities. Wood cabinetry lockers are integrated into the space to provide storage for community groups and activities. The facility includes a see-through, double-sided fireplace and hearth composed of concrete, mild steel and milestone. The concrete floor is hydronically heated and, paired with the operable window walls and super-sized building fan, ensures a comfortable environment throughout the year. Low-maintenance materials include exposed plywood SIP panels, steel structural beams and columns, clear cedar siding, aluminum storefront windows, and a standing seam metal roof.
There is potential for small retail tenants, such as a cafe, to be incorporated into the design at a later date. The project is expected to be completed some time in 2017.
“The Town Green and Community Building will serve as a year-round destination and signature gathering space for Kenmore,” said Rob Karlinsey, City Manager for the City of Kenmore. “The design of the building and how its internal and external features function and flow together with the town green will get us to that sense of downtown place that our community has been longing for.”
The larger Town Green project is the brainchild of HEWITT, who created the landscape architecture design. Graham Baba Architects and HEWITT worked hand-in-hand to make sure the pavillion and greater project flowed together.