Pierce Transit Headquarters Lobby Interiors

The main lobby is the entry point for all visitors and employees to Building 4, which serves as Pierce Transit’s headquarters. Originally designed and built in 1986, the existing space was ready for a facelift. Pierce Transit’s CEO wanted the updated space to reflect modern colors and finishes, provide accessibility to all, and to warmly welcome every person entering the space. This lobby renovation was originally part of a larger modernization concept where the building exterior was also to be updated.  Due to funding constraints, the exterior building work has been deferred. As this is Pierce Transit’s administrative headquarters, Stemper AC felt it important to recognize the building and its spaces as the central business location for a major transit authority. 

Lighting Design

Material and finish elements used in the lobby area reference various transit center concepts, evoking the idea of movement, bright and warm lighting, and open space. Upon entry at the main doors, a continuous lit ceiling moves the visitor to the front reception desk. Formerly a public gallery in addition to its function as a lobby when the building first opened, the gallery has since been limited to a hallway and stair area where museum quality lighting has been installed. Stemper AC also utilized the double height atrium space and the main connecting stairs to restore grandiosity in these areas by emphasizing the spaces with a full size double height wall graphic (coordinated design with Pierce Transit), and a multi-stem glass chandelier. 

Hanging Sculpture

Additionally, the atrium space contains a sculptural and acoustical art piece. The award winning Halo is sculptural, dynamic, and doubles as an acoustic absorption cloud for sound control. The organic sculpture contrasts the rigid lines of the existing building interior, its large format brightens and helps break up the double-story space in to a visually engaging and joyful space for visitors.

In June of 2022, the halo mobile, created with Studio Lilica, won the Hospitality Design Magazine Award for the Custom Art + Installation category.

Security Upgrades

In response to the client’s request to improve safety of the lobby space for staff, we designed the reception desk with a layer of bullet-resistant panels. The panels are made up of multiple layers of woven roving ballistic fiberglass, impregnated with a polyester resin designed to capture projectiles. The front desk design also incorporated a space of refuge for staff in case of an emergency.

Final Outcome

This project was successfully completed in 2021. Because the final elements of the remodel were constructed during Covid-19 lockdowns, Pierce Transit was not able to have a grand opening upon completion. However, Stemper AC has since received positive feedback from the client and the users.


Melody Leung – Principal in Charge

Lalo Bello – Project Manager

Tres West Engineers – Electrical & Mechanical Subconsultant

Photos: William Wright Photography

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