The New Architecture Research and Performance center is proposed to function as a new library, and research studios that have the access to outdoor areas while also serving the drama community that used to locate in the area through the shared auditorium. It serves as an additional facility to the older campus right next to it. Seattle is considered one of the advanced city in Pacific Northwest which has many locally sourced timber material. But there are not many buildings using CLT, Pine Fir, and lumber as materials. Recently, Portland had a lot of publications in their wooden high-rise, so it is time for Seattle to set a new trend and it will begin from University of Washington Built of Environment school.
As an architecture school, the building design should reflect the design school program vision which is design for functionality and sustainability. The building styles are resembling the neighborhood buildings in the University of Washington area while using the renewable materials. The project used CLT for the structural systems and spruce pine fir for framing. These materials are fire proof and structurally viable. The exterior façade used the NELMA pine grade. All of these materials have high appearance and quality, good thermal bridging characteristics, and ability to reduce loads and stores carbon. The façade consists of several modules that will be prefabricated and assemble on the site allowing faster constructions. The goal of the project is to show to the public that wood constructions is a new option to other materials. In fact, it is not only sustainable but also beautiful.
The concept of the building is to serve the architecture community and to showcase projects. The lower ground is for showcasing, which is very transparent and welcoming to street passerby. However, it does not try to hide the structural integrity of the CLT structural system which is communicating its natural quality despite the building contemporary look. The challenge of research lab is having outdoor access. In this project, the studios will have roof access and moveable window panels that allow ventilations.
The design proposes a few other material palette where the glass mullion and concrete is paired with the timber to create contrast while giving the sense of warmness and organic look. Additionally, these renewable resources will help to achieve points on sustainability credits for certifications. In overall, the project achieves its goal-to promote advanced wood construction technology in Seattle area to set as a new benchmark for the other designer to follow.