Totem Lake Connector

Kirkland, Washington

The City of Kirkland has hired the consultant team of COWI, DMD Team members, working as VIA a Perkins Eastman Studio, and MIG/SVR to design a safe and memorable crossing over its busiest corridor.

As the key link in the Cross Kirkland Corridor, The Totem Lake Connector will act as a structurally dramatic bridge, becoming an icon for the city and Totem Lake as one of the more dramatic experiences on the corridor. Through a strong public engagement process of three open houses and online voting, the design team developed four distinct structural options that engage the site in dynamic ways and gained support for the preferred alternative. The structural form and expressions of the preferred design focus on engaging the local context in a dynamic and memorable manner.

Sweeping radial serpentine form presents a dynamic opportunity both in experience and visual form. This opportunity requires exceptional resolution in the structure and columns, as well as the handrail system, to execute on bridge as Structural Art. Maintaining the integrity of the structural form, preserving strong lines and profiles, and the utilization of repetition is critical to success as demonstrated in these precedents. A bridge type with fluid form, engaging the connection between Lake Washington and Totem Lake. The implied sense of motion of a skipping stone towards Totem Lake expresses the reconnection between the community and nature  Engaging the metaphor at the traffic island, the bridge deck and railing is enlarged to emphasize the skipping of the stone. Utilizing gradient pixelization to filter the ripple pattern to create a dynamic visual effect and allow for ease of application.

Client – City of Kirkland
Location – Kirkland, Washington
Timeline – 2016-2022
Bridge Engineer – Fast + Epp, McElhanney