University of Washington – Health Sciences Education Building

  • area / size 100,000 sqft
  • Completed 2022
  • The Miller Hull Partnership and The S/L/A/M Collaborative collaborated to design the Health Sciences Education Building at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.

    Designed to inspire generations of future healthcare professionals, the new Health Sciences Education Building at the University of Washington fosters interaction, collaboration, and creativity for students and the health professional community. Delivered by the design-build team of The Miller Hull Partnership, The S/L/A/M Collaborative, and Lease Crutcher Lewis, the new interprofessional education building aims to maintain the University’s outstanding performance by attracting and retaining the highest caliber of healthcare professionals.

    Centrally located in the University’s robust, health sciences-focused South Campus, the facility utilizes the unique adjacencies of research, academic, and clinical programs to train future health professionals in support of affordable, accessible, and high-quality 21st-century healthcare. The health sciences curriculum focuses on finding opportunities for interactions that encourage interprofessional collaboration. Inspired by this ethos, the design strikes a careful balance between scheduled classrooms and student collaboration zones, providing generously sized spaces for group work and flexibility to allow students to learn from, with, and about each other.

    “Culture of Care” is a phrase that guided the design of the site, architecture, and interior experience as the team envisioned an environment that supports the health and well-being of its residents and visitors. Challenging the standard of sterile, immersive, hospital-like environments found in most university medical buildings, the building embodies the “Culture of Care” through investment in wellness and student-focused spaces. Warm, healthy materials promote a sense of connection to nature and help students feel at ease in a high-pressure atmosphere.

    The design-build team implemented strategies to maximize the building’s sustainability and environmental impact, prioritizing long-term infrastructure investments and setting an example for campuses across the country. The building features emerging and impactful technologies including regional stormwater infrastructure, electrochromic glazing, and a new hybrid structural system that incorporates 53-foot spans of steel beams, topped by a CLT panel and a finished concrete topping slab. The inclusion of CLT in floor and roof assemblies brings the beauty of wood to the formal and informal learning environments while supporting regional economic growth. The hybrid structure provides significant tenant flexibility due to the open span area, supporting the collaborative and flexible spaces critical to the program. The design team partnered with University staff and students to develop and test the composite beam system. Funded by two grants—including a U.S. Forest Service Wood Innovations Grant—the hybrid testing and engineering helped permit the project and advanced the City of Seattle’s building code related to the use of CLT structures.

    Design: The Miller Hull Partnership and The S/L/A/M Collaborative
    Contractor: Lease Crutcher Lewis
    Landscape Architect: GGN
    Photography: Moris Moreno