Improving the Transit Customer Experience and Enhancing the Neighborhood Environment

Olympia Transit Center

Intercity Transit

The new Intercity Transit building will complement the character of the existing transit center. New areas on the ground floor are set back to provide shelter from the weather and create a more comfortable pedestrian environment. The building lobby is transparent on both ends, promoting better wayfinding, visibility, and security.


11,200 sf


Olympia, WA

Year Complete



The building form is shaped by the alignment of the existing building and the bus movements across the site. Pedestrian open spaces and circulation zones are positioned and sized to be welcoming and safe, and allow for easy flow of transit customers. The size and composition of windows around the building is designed with long-term energy efficiency in mind – optimizing natural daylighting while reducing unwanted solar heat gain and glare.


When considering the material palette, we drew inspiration from the existing conditions on the site, and around this part of downtown Olympia, developing a composition of durable and delicate. We chose dark masonry to allow the building to sit firmly on the ground and establish a character of strong civic architecture. The scale and natural color variation of the masonry units complements the tough and rugged character of the surrounding neighborhood, while remaining extremely durable in a public environment. White metal highlights and fine-grain detailing references the white and structurally expressive existing transit building structure, and clearly distinguishes the building’s main entry points. This composition – of dark masonry and white detailing – visually ties the new and existing buildings together, while allowing each to remain distinct and representative of their function.