University of Washington, Department of Landscape Architecture
Spring 2007 Construction/Hydrology Studio
In the spring of 2007, the Kent Arts Commission began a collaboration with the University of Washington's Department of Landscape Architecture Construction/Hydrology Studio. The Studio looked at ways to increase storage along Mill Creek Canyon in order to minimize changes to the Earthworks that may be required due to a new state regulation for a 10,000 year spillway. Public Works described the Studio's results as "ingenious."
In the photo below, the Earthworks team is standing on the earthen dam. To the left is the current outlet structure, or spillway. When the basin behind the dam begins to fill during a storm, the outlet acts like the overflow drain in a bathtub, keeping the dam from overtopping. The current outlet structure was designed for a 100 year storm.
The Studio was led by Prof. Nancy Rottle, along with Aaron Luoma, Eric Berg and Luanne Smith. Dedicated undergraduate and graduate students were joined by expert reviewers, resulting in genuinely thoughtful and innovative solutions. The Studio was supported by SvR Design Company, including principal Peg Staeheli, Greg Giraldo and Amalia Leighton. Essential support was provided by City of Kent Public Works environmental engineers Beth Tan, Toby Hallock and Mike Mactutis, along with parks planner Perry Brooks and visual arts coordinator Cheryl dos Remédios.
1. UW Landscape Architecture students, staff and City of Kent engineers tour the Earthworks, March 2007. (photo: Cheryl dos Remédios)
2. left to right: Nancy Rottle, Amalia Leighton, Beth Tan, Peg Staeheli, Aaron Luoma, Greg Giraldo, Toby Hallock, Perry Brooks, March 2007, pouring rain (photo: Cheryl dos Remédios)