American Society of Landscape Architects

  2004 ASLA Professional Awards

Design Award of Merit

Cedar River Watershed Education Center, Seattle, WA
Jones & Jones Architects and Landscape Architects, Ltd., Seattle, WA
Client: City of Seattle, Seattle Public Utilities

Excellent integration of building and landscape materials, both plant and man-made materials, are combined with great skill and sophistication. . . Beautiful design. . . Complimentary with setting. . . Ecologically advanced. . . Gorgeous.
           2004 Professional Awards Jury Comments

Located on the edge of the preserve, the Cedar River Watershed Education Center is a regional visitor, education, and conference facility created to connect Seattle residents with the source of their water. The design mission for the project was to integrate buildings and landscape as a full-scale exhibit to convey a sense of the cultural and natural history of the watershed and the ecological management values embraced by the city. The project incorporates five small-scale buildings, using the building massing to form a series of outdoor courtyards. The buildings are connected by a living-roofed boardwalk, paralleling a former railway corridor and aligning with an allee of large historic maples, the only remnants from a turn-of-the-century railroad community.


The integrated campus features a series of outdoor courts threaded together by water courses and pathways. The linear layout follows the historic railroad alignment and takes advantage of the lake and mountain views. (Photo: Jones & Jones)

The forms and material of the Center reflect historical structures and the stone, plants, and water of the surrounding landscape. (Photo: Lara Swimmer)

The Entry Court pool features moss-covered boulders from the watershed and stone steps allowing children to get to the water's edge. The stream flows under the interior bridge and drops over a weir into the pool, providing a constant sound of water. (Photo: Lara Swimmer)

The surrounding forest and meadow natural ground cove landscape have been pulled into court areas and onto building roof areas. (Photo: Nancy Rottle)

Buildings are connected by a living-roofed boardwalk that parallels the former railway corridor and aligns with an alee of historic Big-leaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum), remnants from a turn-of-the-century railroad community. (Photo: Lara Swimmer)

Stone pathways and bridges lead visitors from one space to the next, pulling them to viewpoints overlooking the lake, mountains, and surrounding forest habitat. (Photo: Nancy Rottle)

Seasonal natural landscape flowering is both on the ground and on building roofs. (Photo: Nancy Rottle)

The center of the Forest Court is emblematic of a forest glade, featuring a moss garden that is circumscribed by a marshy stream, a loose ring of vine maples and native ferns, and "rain drums" (upper right) on which drops of water play winter rhythms. (Photo: Nancy Rottle)

The Forest Court in fall with various "rain drums." (Photo: Lara Swimmer)

In the Heritage Court, roof water is collected in carved stone basins, then drains into a grated channel before cascading over a five-foot stone-faced retaining wall. The learning lab and auditorium buildings expand onto the Heritage Court, which is paved with stone, subtly-colored sandblasted concrete, and tile artifacts historically manufactured in the watershed. (Photo: Jones & Jones)

In the Heritage Court, roof water is gathered in carved stone basins and flows in a sinuous channel before cascading over the viewpoint wall and infiltrating the ground. (Photo: Jones & Jones)
The Heritage Court is a flexible space for educational demonstrations, conferences, and special events. The finish floors and courtyards maintain the same elevation throughout for a seamless flow between interior and exterior spaces, and the entire campus is universally accessible. (Photo: Nancy Rottle)
Landscape lighting washes the ground and vegetation using minimum light levels to preserve the darkness of the sky; buildings function as lanterns. (Photo: Lara Swimmer)

Buildings are profoundly connected to their place, offering a genuinely enriching experience; root patterned floors and salvage root art forms at the ceiling level. (Photo: Lara Swimmer)
An expanded rustic park was part of the first design phase, which included visitor amenities such as this orientation kiosk. Parkland meadows were seeded with the same wildflower mix as the kiosk roof. (Photo: Jones & Jones)

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