Kenmore Town Square

Located in the City of Kenmore’s burgeoning civic heart, the 20,000 SF site with its 5,000 SF Hangar building serves as a symbolic “living room” that celebrates the City’s rich history; provides opportunities for year-round gathering and discovery; and creates a flexible multi-purpose venue for recreation and events.

Location

Kenmore, WA

TYPOLOGY

Civic Space

Client

City of Kenmore

Design PARTNERS

Graham Baba Architects

SIZE

0.5 acre

This young city sought to create a civic core and in 2017, the City of Kenmore hired HEWITT to create a community-owned, multifunctional urban amenity that would serve the growing needs of its citizens.

A Shared Vision

As prime, HEWITT facilitated a series of design workshops to gather input from the community, which informed the resulting goals and vision for the project: to be a pedestrian friendly destination, a flexible community gathering space that encourages discovery and delight, and to be a timeless public space that reflect the authentic character of Kenmore.

Creating a civic heart

The conceptual design focused heavily on helping transform a suburban pass-through community into a city with an energized downtown core. Kenmore Town Square expands the civic infrastructure and connects key civic functions: the adjacent public Library, City Hall, Fire Station and Skate Park (also designed by HEWITT). The project serves as a catalyst for developing the area into a dense walkable downtown by working in tandem with the multi-family housing and retail development of adjacent properties.

A Flexible Space for All

The Town Square touches upon the innate social notions of community by creating a venue for passive and active gatherings. Designed to be a flexible and comfortable space with infrastructure that can accommodate active festivals, movies, concerts, and community events as well as just meeting a friend for coffee. The design approach focused on:

  • The design of a civic building, The Hangar, which creates an opportunity for expanded multi-season use and anchors a boundless corner adjacent to an wide busy intersection.
  • A subtle twist of the building geometry allows for a wider sidewalk experience at the buildings entrance and carves out a sun pocket for gathering.
  • The plaza is accented by a unique paving pattern that serves as a flexible canvas for community events
  • A rich tapestry of plantings frame and create edges around the open space

 

 

Authentic Sense of Place

Taking inspirational cues from Kenmore’s rich history and geography, the Town Square features elements that recall the layered context of lake edge, aviation, and nature.

Seat rocks with ripples of LED lights and a choreographed water feature

The project features a rich plant tapestry--from the northwest fern gully to swaths of grasses.

Etched granite inlays of municipal establishment dates and coordinates of other famous Kenmore locations provide for discovery and education of the history of Kenmore

The project has many references to the city's geographic location on the lake's edge as well as its historical roots. The water feature allows one to dip their feet in the water, and the seat rocks reference the notion of skipping stones across the surface of a lake. The geometry of the paving pattern takes inspiration from the shape of the heron's legs (the city's official bird) as it takes flight. The paving pattern also takes cues from the forms made by stacks of cedar shingles, which references the history of shingle production in Kenmore.

The civic building includes public restrooms, a double-sided fireplace, green roof, art, and multi-use assembly space for gatherings and performances. A popular wine + espresso cafe tenants the Hangar’s 1,000 SF space to activate the building and Town Square throughout the year.

A public bike maintenance station and electrical bike charging station encourages multimodel connectivity

Creating a traditional porch-like setting, the Hangar building opens up with a large operable glass wall.

The choreography of the heated rocks and the LED ingrade lights reference the notion of skipping stones at a lake's edge. The water feature mimics the rhythms of the lake from still water to active spray