chinese reconciliation park | city of tacoma
The City of Tacoma’s sister city, Fuzhou, capital city of Fuzhou Province, Republic of China, presented Tacoma with a full size commemorative pavilion (ting) to be constructed as a centerpiece for Tacoma’s Chinese Reconciliation Park, situated along the south shore of Commencement Bay. Accompanied by three Fuzhou artisans and their interpreter, the shipping containers arrived from China at the Port of Tacoma in the spring of 2010.
In the months prior to their arrival, Rolluda Architects worked jointly with the Park’s landscape architect, J.A. Brennan and Associates, along with Canadian Chinese park expert, Joe Wai Architects, coordinating, managing and obtaining permits for the translated construction document set, adhering to current IBC building codes and western construction methods including supplemental materials.
Working closely with the City’s structural engineer and expert in Asian wood structures, the design team was able to incorporate the necessary wood and stone joint reinforcing, install a 25+ year roofing membrane (hiding it under the traditional tile and mortar roof detailing), find and detail decorative ridge masonry products capable of meeting Zone 4 seismic and wind loading while preserving the artisan’s traditional intent, and provide an aesthetically sensitive access for disabled park visitors.
Sited in a weather-challenged environment with salt-saturated spray and fog, the completed building and surrounding park are an extraordinary addition to the Tacoma waterfront.
The project was funded through matching city, state and federal funds, along with donations and pledges from the local Chinese community. The Ting is a 21st century statement by the City of Tacoma, recognizing the plight of its local Sojourners during the mid-19th century, when they were coldly turned away by the City once the railroad construction was completed. The Ting’s siting, the preservation of its unique building form, and the intense efforts undertaken to incorporate and preserve them as features in the local culture, are a daily confirmation to the citizens of Fuzhou of the depth and quality of the City’s goodwill in their role as a sister city.