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 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.
From San Francisco, California, Zoe moved to Seattle, Washington to pursue her undergraduate degree at the University of Washington. She graduated with a dual bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science. Shortly after graduation from UW, Zoe hopped across the pond to pursue her Master of Science in Urban Economics and Real Estate Finance at the London School of Economics. Focusing on Sustainable Development, she found herself drawn to adaptive reuse and preservation projects in the world of architecture and design. Building on prior marketing and social media experience, Zoe returned to the PNW in July of 2023 to work on social media strategy and content creation for clients at Paxson Fay.
Martina joined the Paxson Fay team as an intern when she was a senior at the University of Washington. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Public Interest Communications, Martina is now continuing with the team as a Communications Assistant. During her time at UW, Martina worked as the Special Sections Editor at the university’s newspapers where she won multiple awards for her front page spreads. Looking to blend her minors in real estate and environmental science with her focus in communications, Martina is passionate and excited to join the Paxson Fay team.
We are looking for a star communications specialist to join our team, leading creative brands in their communications efforts across platforms. Click here to read more.
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.