"The project expresses a combination of stunning architecture, inspired siting, and imaginative integration of structure with environment and people. The building is at once faithful to the spirit of the collegiate Tudor gothic as it embrace the most desirable elements of a modernist aesthetic."
One of the challenges was to accommodate the varied needs of five departments in one facility while strengthening the opportunities for interaction among faculty and students. The building includes a four-story atrium around which shared teaching and research areas are clustered. In addition to the academic spaces, the Physical and Occupational Therapy programs operate a public clinic. This special interaction between the university and the surrounding community is supported by two distinct entries, linked by the atrium.
The campus is defined by several groves of fir and cedar trees, serving as a reminder of the great primeval forests that once covered the Pacific Northwest. The new facility establishes an important eastern boundary and mitigates the grade between Commencement Walk and the public clinic’s east parking lot, while forming a strong edge to the southern grove. The building is approached through the trees, creating a distinctive entry marked by filtered light and shadow.
The building employs brick, sandstone and terracotta to establish continuity with the architecture of the campus and a cohesive sense of place. The delicate grid of the window patterns recall historic buildings on campus. Students lounge and study on maple benches and settle into alcoves made of curved maple walls. A grand light-filled stair winds up through the space, connecting all floors.
Reflecting the University's commitment to sustainability, the Center for Health Sciences was awarded LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council.