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Back to School: Russell T. Joy Building

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Watching the Instagram and Facebook feeds of our friends and colleagues these past couple of weeks, it’s been fun to see all the kiddos dolled up for their first day of school. In honor of this occasion, we thought it would be a good time to share our very own “school” story. So today we’re taking it to the halls of higher education!

The Russell T. Joy Building (Joy Building) is a three-story historic warehouse building originally constructed in 1892. Located at the north entry of the University of Washington-Tacoma, the Joy Building serves as a welcoming beacon and an entrance to a connective open space that runs through the campus. The addition of sixteen classrooms, seminar rooms, and two large lecture halls address the growth needs of UW Tacoma, as well as a new office suite for Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences department. The layout of the building situates classrooms on the east side of the building facing Pacific Avenue – with views out to the active streets cape and Tacoma’s historic railroad station. Informal gathering and studying spaces are placed on the west side of the building, facing the pedestrian through way and a planned plaza. Along Pacific Avenue, restaurant and retail space transforms the historic warehouse into a vibrant downtown storefront and enforce the strong ties the University has created with the Tacoma community.

For their work on this building, the team from THA Architecture, Inc. was honored as a winner of the 2012 Architects Challenge.