Inspired by the unique relationship between technology and nature in life sciences, this 207,000 square-foot building combines energy-efficient technologies with materials found in the Pacific Northwest.
This new state-of-the-art biology building creates a next-level science facility for the University of Washington through a design that combines progressive features, such as photovoltaic fins, with natural materials, like an elevator core cladded in 115-foot tall Douglas Firs and a 15,000 square-foot greenhouse, to showcase the intersection of technology and nature—the essence of biology. The new facility will meet the growing demand of the largest department on campus, which educates more STEM graduates than any other program in the state.
The Life Sciences Building is situated on a narrow strip of land, with the popular Burke-Gilman trail to the south and towering Deodar Cedars to the north. Inspired by these juxtaposed site conditions, the building’s design creates an “ecotone” in both program and design, where the technology behind the science intersects with the study of the natural world.
The southern exterior is comprised of metal, glass, and energy producing solar fins to represent technology, while the northern exterior boasts natural wood to represent nature. The ecotone converges at a six-story, 1,000 square-foot glass-box atrium that connects the south and north ends of the building.