At the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, which has emerged as a leader in global health data during the pandemic, the new Hans Rosling Center for Population Health is poised to become an epicenter for life-saving public health research.
“This project was about planting a flag in the sand, announcing Seattle as the center of gravity for research and innovation around population health,” says Ruth Baleiko, partner at Miller Hull Partnership, which designed the building. “For UW, this was a big, bold, and audacious project.”
Located on a transitional site between the historic campus core and an up-and-coming university district, the building creates a new campus nexus. Miller Hull’s design of the 290,000-square-foot Hans Rosling Center was driven by the belief that interdisciplinary collaboration is key to solving global health challenges, bringing together departments including the School of Public Health, the Department of Global Health, and the Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation (IHME), an independent research center providing data on global health issues, including COVID-19.
“UW has broad expertise across disciplines, as well as strong external partnerships with community groups and government entities,” says Derek Fulwiler, director of strategy for UW’s Population Health Initiative, which commissioned the project. “That ecosystem now has a single home, a place for out-of-the-box creative conversations that will lead to the next generation of solutions for population health.” The building announces its ethos of collaboration through a parti of interlocking rectangular volumes, which contain seven stories of research offices and hover above a ground floor of public convening spaces and classrooms.
“The building’s manifesto is about engagement: within and between teams inside, and beyond the four walls,” says Miller Hull’s Baleiko. Envisioned as a series of neighborhoods where various office types intermix with shared meeting spaces, the floors are arranged around a central convening stair meant to encourage healthy movement, as well as to advance the guiding aim of cross-pollination among occupants and visiting partners.
There was a challenging 30-foot grade change on the site, which the architects addressed by creating three “ground floors” at different elevations, each with its own entrance. A massive, covered porch along the north facade is a welcoming refuge in Seattle’s rainy climate. “The building is porous and accessible, inviting people in from all four sides and allowing movement through it,” says Baleiko. Tempering transparency with a subtle grandiosity, the building’s west facade of three-foot-deep fins creates a dramatic rippling effect visible from the nearby interstate. Each fin was carefully oriented to mitigate glare and solar heat gain without sacrificing views.
The fins are just one example of innovative, cost-effective design solutions that emerged from the Hans Rosling Center’s new integrated design-build approach—a delivery method UW piloted with this project. Miller Hull and contractor were selected as a team, developing the design collaboratively with trade partners and university stakeholders through a risk-reward partnership. Key partners agreed to put their fee at risk if the building went over budget, but could also earn a reward from an incentive fund if it met UW’s cost targets. The budget was largely driven by a $210 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that provided major underwriting for the Center (some funding also came from the Washington State legislature and UW).
The risk-reward structure meant all team members had buy-in and gave Miller Hull access to consultants early on, allowing for quicker decision-making and less value engineering. “This was the largest, fastest-moving project I’ve been a part of in my 32-year career,” says Brian Aske, project director at Lease Crutcher Lewis, Miller Hull’s construction partner. The soon-to-be LEED Gold certified building was completed in just three years and $6.5 million under budget.
“The camaraderie on this project was unlike anything we’d ever experienced,” says Baleiko. “It’s a different paradigm—rather than designer as maestro, it’s design leadership in the midst of diverse viewpoints.”
Although the Hans Rosling Center currently sits empty due to the very population health challenges it was built to address, UW’s Fulwiler remains optimistic. “Once we can get in the building and it’s safe to gather again, the sky’s the limit as to what we can achieve together.”
meet the team
We’re a band of women (and a dog named Evie) inspired by other women, design, 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.
senior account coordinator
Claire Butwinick specializes in marketing and social media strategy, copywriting, and public relations. Formerly the Assistant Editor at GRAY Magazine, an international architecture and design publication based in Seattle, Claire brings to Paxson Fay her editorial background and a passion for all things design. In addition to her writing experience, Claire is a seasoned public speaker, moderating a number of panel discussions with IDS Vancouver and Be Original Americas, and hosting the 2019 GRAY Awards. Last year, she took her speaking skills virtual, conducting several Instagram Live interviews with designers amid the pandemic. A graduate from the University of Washington’s School of Communication: Journalism, Claire was honored with a Pioneer News Group Excellence Award for Visual Journalism, selected for the Communication department’s prestigious Career Exploration scholarship, and nominated for a Hearst National Journalism Award. Her work also appears in GRAY Magazine, Office Insight, SagaCity’s Jewish in Seattle Magazine, and more.
senior account coordinator
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.
Chloe Edwards is a PNW native and recent Summa cum laude graduate from the University of Washington, where she studied Communication and Anthropology. While interning with the strategic communications firm Parsons + Co. Chloe developed skills in messaging and branding development, media outreach, and social media management. Chloe joined the Paxson Fay team as an intern in the fall of 2020. At Paxson Fay, Chloe creates social media content for a variety of client campaigns and profiles and leads engagement on several accounts, coordinates internal communications efforts, and assists with media outreach. As Paxson Fay's full-time Communications Assistant she uses her experience to achieve social media marketing, content strategy, and media relations success for clients and for the Paxson Fay brand.
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
media communications and outreach
awards: strategy, content development and submissions
platform strategy and management
results + reporting
budget strategy + negotiation
website and e-mail marketing
video: sourcing, storyboarding and scheduling
photography acquisition + curation
sponsorships + partnerships
Here is a little taste of who we love to work with and what we love to do.