LMN Architects completes new Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal in Washington

Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal replaces the 63-year-old facility and creates a significant new transportation hub to address the Pacific Northwest's growing transportation needs. Designed by LMN Architects partnership, the 550 sqm ferry terminal draws inspiration from the region’s Coast Salish tribes’ culture.

The building’s longhouse form, derived from working closely with the numerous Coast Salish tribes, is expected to enrich the passenger experience and improve circulation and wayfinding in the terminal. The building's striking feature is its longhouse style roof, made up of cross-laminated timber, which is locally sourced and sustainably harvested. The structural system combines energy conservation by incorporating a full array of photovoltaic panels. It is expected that the facility will be able to return energy to the grid in the future. The building also features a rack-and-pinion window system that automatically opens and closes in response to changing conditions and optimises airflow. An electric heat pump provides heating and cooling efficiency to the floors throughout the year.

Benjamin Benschneider
Benjamin Benschneider
Benjamin Benschneider

Previously a brownfield site which housed a US Air Force cold war depot and pier, the new facility is part of a larger $187 million replacement project to improve regional mobility.

“The Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal results from an intensive collaboration between the design, engineering, and contracting teams. But it would not have been possible without the inspiration and sense of mission that the team drew from our tribal partners,” explains Howard Fitzpatrick, Principal, LMN Architects.

 “The historical 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 recognising the vitality and forward-looking orientation of the area’s original inhabitants.”

Fitzpatrick continues, “The design team took the responsibility of building on such a historically significant and sacred site very seriously. While it is impossible to construct a modern facility without impacting the site, our goal was to minimise those impacts; to work with the sun, rain, wind and views that have always defined this coastline; to make a building that respects both its site and the culture that has occupied it for thousands of years.”

Benjamin Benschneider
Benjamin Benschneider
 LMN Architects | Site plan.
 LMN Architects | Sustainability Diagram 
Benjamin Benschneider

Working closely with the Coast Salish tribes, the architects wanted to provide a strong local identity to the building. Along with drawing inspiration from the tribal longhouses, the architects also incorporated tribal cultural motifs created by Native American artists, James Madison and Joe Gobin, displayed throughout the building. An elevated pathway connects the new terminal to the beach and downtown Mukilteo, creating a new promenade.

Andrew Bennett, Principal, KPFF Consulting Engineers, comments: “The Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal has been an amazing opportunity to contribute to our regional transportation system. It was an exceptionally complicated project, and KPFF was fortunate to have visionaries like LMN on our team. We were able to work with literally dozens of stakeholders, firms, and government agencies to deliver this project. Everyone can be proud of what we have accomplished, and we hope this terminal continues to be a valuable public asset for years to come.”

Benjamin Benschneider
Benjamin Benschneider
Benjamin Benschneider

The new facility is expected to increase its ridership by 100 per cent over the next twenty years during the peak commute hour.  The new ferry terminal will be used by two million vehicles and nearly four million riders annually. The new terminal provides more holding space for cars and offers safer pedestrian passageway with an overhead walkway, especially for people with disabilities.

The new terminal officially opened on December 29, 2020.



Project: Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal

Location: 910 1st Street, Mukilteo Mukilteo, Washington

Client: Washington State Ferries

Design Years: 2014-2017

Construction years: 2019-2020

Building Materials: Concrete, steel, heavy timber and CLT

Program: Multi-modal Ferry Terminal with Maintenance Building and Toll Plaza

Site Area: 401,112 sqft

Terminal Floor: 5,865 sqft

Maintenance Building: 4,193 sqft

Toll Plaza: 828 sqft

Building Height: 47 ft

Number of Floors: 2

Cost of Construction: $187 million

Prime Consultant: Project Manager

Structural and Civil Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers

General Contractor: IMCO General Construction

Landscape Architect: HBB Landscape Architecture

Lighting Design: Dark Light Design

Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer: FSi Consulting Engineers

Electrical Engineer: Jacobs Engineering Group

Communications: Ergosync Engineering

Vertical Transportation: The Greenbusch Group, Inc.

Geotechnical Engineer: Hart Crowser

Signage Design: Ilium

Security Design: Washington State Ferries



LMN Architects is the 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 design approach, creating environments that elevate the social experience.