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PACCAR Hall, Foster School of Business, University of Washington | Notes of Interest

The new Foster School of Business converts the school’s existing collection of outdated facilities—through new construction and renovation—into a cohesive education complex that embodies its educational focus of leadership development, strategic thinking, and collaboration. The project includes two new, interconnected buildings and renovation of the subterranean library.

The design responds to the program’s strong emphasis on social connectivity and its active central campus site with a high degree of porosity in both visual and functional relationships. A four-story daylit atrium runs the entire length of PACCAR Hall. Multiple entrances are knitted into the pedestrian flow of the campus, with views, topography, and landscape embraced as integrated elements in the architectural experience. The exterior is a direct response to the functional needs of modern business education and environmental influences, and its materials, scale, and proportion are compatible with adjacent historic campus buildings.

At the core of the school’s transformation is the concept of integrated communities, in which the social environment, natural environment, and campus context are embraced as interrelated influences in the architectural experience. The central atrium in PACCAR Hall works as a collector of community activity and social heart of the school, perceptually as well as functionally. Common areas are organized as a series of interconnected spaces that function in many different combinations—from small groups to large gatherings, encompassing a full spectrum of informal student activities, regular programs, and special events.

Integrated sustainable design provisions of this LEED® Gold certified project include extensive daylighting throughout classrooms, offices, and common areas; displacement HVAC; indirect evaporative cooling; water conservation measures; and a living roof.

Additional Credit

  • Cost: Davis Langdon
  • Engineer - Civil: KPFF
  • Engineer - Electrical: Sparling
  • Engineer - Mechanical: Notkin
  • Engineer - Structural: MKA
  • General Contractor: Sellen Construction
  • Landscape Architect: Swift Company

Photo Credit

    © Nic Lehoux
    © LaCasse Photography
    © Doug J. Scott
    © Ben Benschneider


  • Architect: LMN Architects
  • Owner: University of Washington, Foster School of Business
  • Location: Seattle

Jury Comments

Remarkable for a campus building, the interiors of this University of Washington business school campus building contain a rich material palette. The generous natural materials accented with steel and glass details provide balance.

The detailing, especially in the entry and public spaces, coordinates seamlessly, even sensuously, for a building of this scale.

A sense of light and natural materials abound throughout the layered vertical spaces, capturing natural light as it spills down through the space.

The project has a beautiful quality of porosity and openness connecting inside with the rich natural environment of the University of Washington and the various levels of a complex institutional program within.

More about PACCAR Hall.

2013 Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture Jury

  • Andrew Wells, FAIA (Chair)
  • Dake Wells Architecture, Springfield, Missouri
  • Susan H. Jones, FAIA
  • Atelierjones, LLC, Seattle
  • Carlos M. Martinez, AIA
  • Gensler, Chicago
  • Ronald J. McCoy, FAIA
  • Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
  • Catherine M. Truman, AIA
  • Ann Beha Architects, Boston

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