Airy corridors and verdant passageways define University of Washington’s new biomedical campus
In designing the landscape for the third phase of the University of Washington’s Medicine Research Hub, landscape architect Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) took its cue from the mission of the School itself and developed a landscape concept that is ‘simply about celebrating life’, said Jennifer Guthrie, the lead landscape designer for the project and a partner at GGN. As such, the design builds on two ideas: continuing a verdant east west passageway previously established in Phase Two of the multi-phased project and creating new North South corridors that are filled with light and air.
The design maintains the vision previously established in Phase Two of the project and goes a long way toward enhancing Phase Three of the project, which will add three buildings totaling nearly 542,000 sq ft of laboratory and office space and 47,000 sq ft of outdoor space to the biomedical complex. To create a sense of anticipation upon arrival to the Phase Three complex, subtle level changes will be introduced. The intention is for light to bounce off the faceted building facades and into the central space below where water features that utilize reclaimed runoff will enhance a feeling of immersion in reflections and light. This space is designed to invite the neighborhood into the heart of the Phase Three complex and provides gathering spaces for community members, faculty and staff.
To make the area pedestrian friendly, two green avenues are proposed. Along 8th Avenue, Phase Three will mirror the wide, tree-lined sidewalk established in Phase Two. The tree-lined avenue will anchor Phase Three’s axial relationship with Denny Park to the south. At Dexter Avenue, stately tress will be provided to reflect its importance as a main connection between South Lake Union, the location of complex, and downtown Seattle.
Slated for completion in early 2013, the Phase Three buildings are being designed by Perkins + Will.