Last October, after 39 months of construction, the University of Washington opened a new 97,000-square-foot Health Sciences Education Building at 1607 N.E. Pacific St. on the south end of the university’s Seattle campus.
The four-story facility is the first project to be completed under UW’s 2018 Campus Master Plan and is the marquee new building for a reimagined South Campus, which is set to become a center for health and medical research.
The inter-professional education building is home to educational and social spaces for six disciplines under the health sciences umbrella and aims to be a trend-setting space for collaboration between students and the broader health professional community.
The building was delivered by the design-build team of architects Miller Hull and Connecticut-based SLAM Collaborative, and general contractor Lease Crutcher Lewis. It cost $77.4 million.
The project team has created a state-of-the-art facility designed to foster interaction, collaboration, and creativity with a diverse mix of shared and discipline specific learning spaces and several shared common areas. The building is also conceived as an embodiment of care and is designed to reflect that core value and goal of medical research and service. This is expressed in myriad ways which include the addition of wellness specific spaces, access to daylight and the outside, and biophilic elements such as exposed CLT ceilings.
The new facility has flexible student spaces, staff/faculty offices, and a broad array of learning environments. These include a large anatomy laboratory, a day-lit library, classrooms, skills laboratories, informal learning areas and breakout spaces, all kitted out with the most advanced technology. Each classroom has opportunities for lecture capture, remote participation, live connection with other learning spaces in the city and region, and training technologies for future healthcare professionals to deliver accessible healthcare via virtual appointments.
Learning and lab spaces are intermixed with more informal areas to encourage social connections between students and faculty in different disciplines, holistic learning, and student wellness. Describing the building’s layout, Miller Hull said it “strikes a careful balance between scheduled classrooms and student collaboration zones, providing generously sized spaces for groupwork, interaction, and creativity to allow students to learn from, with, and about each other.”
“For years, campus buildings have been constructed around a discipline or department, leading to programs being siloed and respective buildings seen as their turf,” Elizabeth Moggio, project manager and principal at Miller Hull, shared in a press release. “Our approach lends itself to the optimization of resources and offers space for six disciplines to be co-located in the same building. The design is highly flexible, supporting future resiliency. If programs grow or shrink, no space will go unused because they are designed for change and with an eye towards universality,” she continued.
Miller Hull says a “culture of care” guided the design of the project’s site, architecture, and interior experience as the team “envisioned an environment that supports the health and well-being of its residents and visitors.” This equates to a structure and environment that looks and feels intentionally opposite to the sterile, hospital-like spaces often found in university medical buildings. The Health Sciences Education Building is constructed with warm, healthy materials to promote a sense of connection to nature and help students feel at ease in a high-pressure atmosphere. It has a hybrid structure of steel, concrete, and CLT in its roof and floor assemblies. That CLT is exposed on interior ceilings to bring warmth and nature into the space.
Nature is also brought into the space via the careful placement of windows and the thoughtful blending of indoor and outdoor areas. Existing buildings on the South Campus have an entirely interior path for students and faculty to travel from one building to another without going outside. The design for this building transforms that experience by pulling people outdoors, introducing a network of accessible pathways, mural and sculptural public art, and outdoor seating to provide students and faculty with places to pause and collaborate outside, and experience grounding moments in nature.
The culture of care embodied in this building and project also extends to its environmental impact. The design-build team incorporated emerging and impactful sustainable technologies including the development of a regional stormwater infrastructure that serves the building and will serve other facilities at the South Campus, electrochromic glazing, and the hybrid CLT structure.
“Rather than develop a solution within the constrained project boundary, the regional green stormwater solution offers a way to provide day to day water treatment for 34 acres of south campus that feed into a single watershed,” Moggio explained in the release.
Miller Hull adds that the inclusion of CLT enabled the university to reduce the embodied carbon impact of the building’s structural decking system by 50% and support the ecology of the region and the state by helping to responsibly manage and protect natural resources and mitigate wildfire risks.
The project team for the UW Health Sciences Education Building also includes; GGN, landscape architect; KPFF Consulting Engineers, civil and structural engineer; Studio Pacifica, accessibility: 4EA, envelope; Mayer/Reed, sinage; Tenor Engineering Group, acoustics; The Greenbusch Group, vertical transportation; Coffman Engineers, fire protection; and CPP, Air Modeling/Air Quality.
meet the team
We’re inspired by diverse design perspectives, innovation, technology, art, and the world around us. We live for the chance to create and disperse powerful, genuine messages that resonate.
Growing up in Seattle, Amy was always exploring the great outdoors but she found a particular thrill in traveling. During a visit to New York City at age 10, she knew that was where she wanted to live. After high school she left her home in the Pacific Northwest behind for the great unknown to attend Fordham University in the Bronx. Upon graduation, Amy received a phone call from CNN offering a job opportunity of a lifetime working in television ad sales at Manhattan's Time Warner Center. When a job opportunity in Los Angeles opened up a few years later, Amy couldn't say no to a new adventure back on the west coast. But Seattle eventually called her back home and Amy returned to pursue a Master's degree in Business Administration with the hopes of learning the skills she needed to feed her entrepreneurial spirit. Before graduating, Amy co-founded Paxson Fay with Tessa Andrews in 2015. Amy focuses on marketing strategy, public relations, social media, and partnerships.
Tessa graduated from Fordham University in New York with a dual bachelor's degree in Communications and Political Science. During her time at Fordham, she worked for an interior designer and at NBC News where she developed her love for both design and communications. After graduating, Tessa managed marketing at 3form, a pioneer in the sustainable building products industry. During her tenure, 3form was repeatedly named one of the most recognized manufacturers in the design industry among architects and designers, and the company won multiple awards for its innovative product launches. After 3form, Tessa consulted on marketing efforts with leading product manufacturers in architecture and design before starting Paxson Fay with Amy.
After graduating from Fordham University in New York City with a major in Communications and Media Studies and a handful of marketing and PR internships, Colby moved to Boston to manage marketing for a small, women-owned, creative consulting agency. While in that role, Colby managed public relations and marketing efforts for some of Boston's most prominent events and public art initiatives, including the Boston Pickle Fair and The Bulfinch Crossing Projections in downtown Boston. Colby gained experience crafting brand stories and identities through social media marketing and creative copywriting, seen through the successful launch of a premier Massachusetts adult-use dispensary and the revamp of her agency's own website. After two years, Colby decided it was time to figure out what the West Coast was all about. Looking to blend her marketing experience with her passion for design and architecture, Colby found Paxson Fay, where she focuses on social media strategy and management and public relations.
Originally from Spokane, Washington, Stasha relocated to Seattle after completing her studies in communications at Eastern Washington University. Over the past seven years, she has held various communication roles at Amazon, specializing in crisis communication and brand reputation. In June of 2023, Stasha joined Paxson Fay as a Communications Specialist, providing her with the opportunity to blend her communications expertise with her passion for design. Stasha focuses on PR efforts for a variety of clients at Paxson Fay.
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what we do
We are a communications firm founded in our passion for good design. Our unique approach to marketing and public relations in the architecture and design community has elevated our clients work to the next level. We’re backed by a talented community of creatives. From copywriters to social media experts, we provide a complete package of customized services. We strive to create a personal experience with each client, integrating teams and tackling your biggest marketing and public relations challenges from a high level. Then we help execute those plans ensuring lots of reporting along the way, with lots of coffee breaks in between because we’re from Seattle and that’s what we do.
partnerships acquisition and management
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awards: strategy, content development and submissions
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results + reporting
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photography acquisition + curation
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Here is a little taste of who we love to work with and what we love to do.