skip to Main Content

LMN Architects designs mass timber structure for University of Washington

Seattle-based studio LMN Architects has completed the hardwood Founders Hall building for the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business in Seattle.

Founders Hall is an 84,800 square foot building with five stories spread over three volumes on the University of Washington campus in North Seattle.

LMN Architects designed Founders Hall for the University of Washington

LMN designed the business school building to serve a variety of functions for teachers and staff, including offices, classrooms, and gathering spaces.

According to the studio, the building is the “first all-log building on campus.”

Facade with outdoor student spaces
The structure was made of solid wood

Solid wood elements – an engineered wood product – include glulam posts and beams and cross-laminated timber floors.

“With the base of our design rooted in a solid wood structure, we have taken advantage of both the inherent beauty and durability of wood,” said LMN Director Kate Westbrook.

“Using solid wood significantly reduces the embodied carbon of the project as we celebrate Douglas fir to create a warm and inviting atmosphere inside.”

Brick, curtain wall and glass exteriors
Brick, curtain wall and glazing were used for cladding

Other materials used to complement wood include brick curtain walls and glazing used for exteriors, as well as concrete for shear cores and long span steel beams for classroom ceilings.

“The peeled brick facade paired with carefully placed glazing exposes the wood within the building while providing views of the historic Douglas Fir trees, giving the upper floors of the building an immersive experience with the northwest forest character. of the site,” LMN added.

Students in the outdoor courtyard
The structure was designed to meet the university’s green building standards n

Inside, the use of wood is most evident in a five-story central staircase that is framed by a series of solid timber support beams.

According to the studio, the building was used as a “proof of concept” for construction finance company Aureus Earth’s initiative to financially quantify carbon storage in new buildings and sell carbon offsets to finance projects. green building projects.

Solid wood staircase
A central staircase connects the five floors

“The building will store over 1,000 tonnes of CO2 for decades, keeping the carbon out of the atmosphere for the life of the building,” LMN said.

The designers also implemented a sustainable strategy to heat and cool the structure, in accordance with the University of Washington’s green building standards, which aim to reduce carbon emissions by 90%.

Students in the hall of the wooden building
The structure includes classrooms, offices and meeting spaces

According to the LMN, this goal has been achieved through carbon sequestration through the use of solid wood and by “integrating natural and mechanical ventilation”.

LMN Director Robert Smith told Dezeen that Founders Hall’s energy consumption is free of fossil fuels. Despite having a “solar-ready” roof, the architecture studio achieved the energy goal by not connecting the structure to the campus steam grid.

“Founders Hall is an efficient electric building and was designed to be fossil fuel free,” Smith said.

“It is fully electric and draws its power from the local electric utility which uses cleaner energy sources such as wind and hydro.”

Interior shot of Founders Hall with working students
The building has a separate electrical grid connection from the rest of the campus

LMN has constructed a number of buildings on the University of Washington campus, including a computer center named after billionaire Bill Gates.

Other projects for the studio, founded in Seattle in 1979, include an extension to the Seattle Asian Art Museum and a viewing platform atop a bridge in Everett, Washington.

Recently, a structure with mass timber elements in Milwaukee designed by Korb + Associates Architects became the tallest timber building in the world.

Photography is by Tim Griffith


Project credits:

Architect: LMN Architects
Design-builder: Hoffmann construction company
Structural engineer: Magnusson Klemencic partners with Katerra, Carla Keel and Autoscan
Civil engineer: Mayfly Engineering and Design, Plc.
Landscape architect: Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, Ltd.
Light design: HLB lighting design
Mechanical and electrical engineer: PAE Consulting Engineers, Inc.
Plumbing engineer: Burmese design
Signage: Studio Matthews
Accessibility: Studio Pacifica
Commissioning: Wilson Jones Commissioning
Adviser Envelope: Morrison Hershfield with McClintock Façade Consulting
LEED Administration and Energy Modeler: O’Brien360
Environment graphic designer: Advent, LLC.
Acoustic: The Greenbusch Group

Back To Top