When An Architecture Firm Has the Chance to Get Involved With a Property Designed By the Olmsted Brothers, That Firm Is Delighted, Honored — And Very, Very Careful. Featured Image

When An Architecture Firm Has the Chance to Get Involved With a Property Designed By the Olmsted Brothers, That Firm Is Delighted, Honored — And Very, Very Careful.

“Although some original buildings are gone, the campus, largely locked from public view for more than a century, is a magnificent specimen of early 20th-century institutional design, with clusters of buildings in Spanish Colonial Revival style set on parklike grounds. The layout was lovingly drawn by famed designer John Charles Olmsted, whose father, Frederick, had died in a similar institution — ironically, of his own design — near Boston in 1895.”

–Ronn Judd, Seattle Times; April 6, 2017

In 2014 RMC, along with environmental consulting firm Maul, Foster, Alongi, was engaged by the Port of Skagit County to analyze the campus of the Northern State Hospital in Sedro Woolley, WA for redevelopment.

Built in the Cascade foothills starting in 1911 on more than 1,000 acres, the campus is one of the largest single development plans in the United States ever to have been built according to a master design by the legendary Olmsted Brothers. Most of the historical buildings are still intact. Working with local high-tech manufacturing firm, Janicki BioEnergy, the team devised a development strategy to insert newly constructed manufacturing space into the fabric of the original land plan, while preserving the essential features of the design concept.

The historical buildings will be renovated for offices, residential, hospitality and support uses. The entitlement process is underway with construction scheduled to begin later this year.

For pictures and more about this property’s fascinating history, read the Seattle Times feature. If a fascinating future is more your thing, check out what Bill Gates has to say about Janicki BioEnergy’s Omniprocessor, which turns waste into potable water.

“Why not use the engine of a business devoted to a new humanitarian mission to save a place that had endeavored to achieve an old one?” (Seattle Times)