Russell T. Joy Building
University of Washington Tacoma, Tacoma, Washington
Restoring a historic neighborhood through renovation.
Offering a small-campus environment in the heart of a historic, dynamic downtown, the
University of Washington Tacoma is often cited as one of the most important factors in
Tacoma’s renaissance. The renovation was the final step in the University’s ambitious
restoration effort of this historically significant neighborhood.
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, the Joy Building
serves as a welcoming beacon and an entrance to a connective open space that runs
through the campus. The addition of 16 classrooms, seminar rooms, and two large
lecture halls address the growth needs of UW Tacoma, as well as a new office suite for the
Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences department.
The Joy Building achieved LEED Platinum certification.
The layout of the building situates classrooms
on the east side of the building facing Pacific
Avenue—with views out to the active
streetscape and Tacoma's historic railroad
station. Along Pacific Avenue, restaurant and
retail space transforms the historic warehouse
into a vibrant downtown storefront and
enforces the strong ties the University has
created with the Tacoma community.
As this building is situated in a historic district,
it was important to work with a manufacturer
who was able to provide a product that was not
only energy efficient, but able to match the size
and appearance of the original windows. The
Marvin products met all of the project’s needs,
integrating a custom extrusion designed to
match the original profile while maintaining
operability along the west façade to aid in the
natural ventilation of the circulation and study
areas. Both the design team and the owner
were extremely pleased with the performance
and appearance of the final installation.