Photo © Ed Sozinho
Photo © Ed Sozinho
Photo © Ed Sozinho
Photo © Ed Sozinho
Photo © Ed Sozinho

Colman Dock Water Taxi and Passenger-Only Ferry Facility

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801 Alaskan Way, 98104 Seattle
King County
Dennis Haskell, Elias Gardner

As part of an interdisciplinary team reenvisioning the Seattle waterfront, SRG completed the 10,000 sf passenger only ferry terminal at Pier 50 on the south side of Seattle’s Colman Dock. Situated on a floating dock, the facility is an open-air, unconditioned queuing shelter for pedestrian-only commuters of the King County Water Taxi (KCWT)—an affordable public transit service with routes to West Seattle and Vashon Island. A commuter facility at its heart, the shelter includes ticketing kiosks and tactile, digitized wayfinding that adapts to fluctuating queue volume and provides improved ADA accessibility. Large, operable windows open onto views of Elliott Bay during pleasant weather and, when closed, provide passengers with shelter from Seattle’s more infamous wet and windy conditions. For staff, the terminal’s design incorporates a small, enclosed office, restroom, and storage. The facility can accommodate 500 queuing passengers as King County looks to expand service routes to Ballard and Kitsap County.

The design of the facility anticipates flooding hazards during critical weather events, minimizing damage and maintaining the shelter’s operational resiliency as climate change continues to affect sea levels. The design also carefully minimizes the shelter’s over-water coverage as to respect tribal fishing rights and underwater habitat restoration. The new facility has earned a Platinum certification under King County’s Green Building Program.

The project is one component of the larger Colman Dock expansion. The project team considered the urban design of the site to integrate the passenger only terminal into the greater vision for the waterfront and adjacent Washington State Ferry (WSF) Multimodal Ferry Terminal, assessing design alternatives for pedestrian and non-motorized vehicle circulation. A public pedestrian bridge directly north of the terminal—accessible by elevator—will serve passengers utilizing both ferry terminals and connect to the ever-evolving Alaskan Way downtown corridor.

(Greater team for Seattle Waterfront and other Colman Dock components (multimodal ferry terminal) includes nbbj and CH2M Hill. SRG focused on the Passenger Only Ferry Terminal for the West Seattle and Vashon Island Water Taxis.)

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