Project Description

UW Life Science Building - Seattle, WA

Architect: Perkins + Will

General Contractor: Skanska

Completion: Fall 2018

Daily Journal of Commerce Article

“Helping Build the Future of Biology”

The University of Washington Life Sciences Building (LSB) is a five-floor, 169,000 square facility with an open floor plan designed to foster team-oriented science and education. The flexible and modular spaces can be adjusted to meet the evolving demands of biological teaching and research.

The building features approximately 35,000 sq. ft. of exterior glazing using Kawneer 2500UT unitized curtain wall and Kawneer Clearwall. On the interior, approximately 13,000 sq. ft. of glazing was installed using a combination of Kawneer storefront and CRL frameless glass walls.

One of the key elements of the Life Science Building are the integrated vertical glass fins. Mission Glass worked with the design team to incorporate 496 amorphous photovoltaic glass fins (provided by Onyx Solar) into a custom-designed curtain wall chassis. These PV glass fins produce energy while also providing a shading element to reduce solar heat gain caused by the sun. This element is a key contributor to help the building reach a LEED Gold status.

A visually stunning feature stair located at the west side of building included nearly 850 lineal feet of ultra-clear low-iron glass and handrail that wraps a 5-story suspended stair tower, giving the illusion that the stair tower is hanging in mid-air. This space is finished out with an additional 250 lineal feet of smoke baffle that also utilizes low-iron glass.

Mission Glass also installed over 8,000 sq. ft. of custom magnetic glass marker boards provided by Pulp Studios throughout the public spaces. These allow students to collaborate and write their ideas directly on the walls. One of the eye-catching features of these marker boards is the custom back-lit artwork that was incorporated directly into the printed pattern behind the glass, making the custom artwork appear as if they are suspended by an organic web.

The building will support all aspects of the University of Washington’s Biology Department’s mission: “Promoting leadership in research and teaching of biology at local, regional, national, and international levels.” The offices, laboratories, and common-use spaces will be in close-proximity, creating space for crucial interactions that often result from casual encounters. This building will accommodate the high demand for Biology education at all levels while teaching the next generation of scientists.