Engineered Wood Shapes Washington State History

A dramatic series of eleven, 55-foot-high reinforced concrete arches accentuate the façade of the Washington State History Museum.  Built on a prominent site in Tacoma, Washington State, USA, the building is adjacent to the Union Station, a former railroad station, built in 1911. The goal of the Washington State Historical Society was to construct a world class facility, while maintaining the historic architecture of the former railroad station.

The construction team built a 6,800-square-foot gang form composed of APA trademarked HDO plywood panels to form a single arch. Over 4,000 sheets of HDO plywood were used to create sections of gang forms. Panels were reused seven times while pouring the other arches.

HDO plywood panels, like the ones used in constructing the gang forms for the History Museum, have a hard, slick, semi-opaque surface of thermoset, resin-impregnated material that forms a durable, continuous bond with the plywood.