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University of Washington’s new mass timber building tops out

University Buildings

University of Washington’s new mass timber building tops out

LMN Architects designed the project.

By David Malone, Managing Editor | September 23, 2021
Founders Hall exterior facade
Images courtesy LMN Architects

Founders Hall, a new 85,000-sf mass timber structure, has topped out at the University of Washington. The project expands the Michael G. Foster School of Business while revitalizing the campus core by framing the northeast edge of historic Denny Yard.

The building is organized in two parts to optimize program functionality of workplace, learning, and collaboration activities. Active-learning, collaboration, and event spaces are positioned at the south edge of the site to engage the distinctive qualities of the Denny Yard landscape and provide a link to the pedestrian pathways that traverse the precinct. Landscaped terraces and rain gardens reinforce the natural slope and evergreen plantings of the open space.

Founders Hall interior space

An open circulation space serves as a central connector with a feature stair that provides shared access to tiered classrooms, student commons, a special event venue, and an outdoor terrace. The tiered classrooms are designed to serve group sizes from 65 to 135 students with active-learning functionality. Twenty-eight team rooms, four conference rooms, a student commons, and an event forum with an adjacent roof terrace further activate the collaboration zone.

A series of collaboration spaces located throughout the building are designed to encourage teamwork and foster spontaneous interaction among students, program staff, and the broader business community. Classrooms, conference facilities, and recruiting spaces will provide expanded opportunities for community and corporate engagement through hosting events and inviting outside speakers, alumni, and corporate recruiters.

Founders Hall exterior

Founders Hall is designed for sustainable performance and social connection. The project is a model for sustainable design at the University of Washington and embraces UW’s Green Building Standards, which has helped the project reduce emissions from embodied carbon by 83%.

“The 83% reduction in operational carbon is a result of careful balancing between envelope performance, the mechanical system design, and the users’ commitment to leverage operable windows and ceiling fans in lieu of energy-intensive air conditioning,” said Robert Smith, Principal, LMN Architects, in a release.

Founders Hall is slated for completion in the summer of 2022.

Founders Hall circulation space

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