Work Smarter,
Not Larger

The rejuvenated School of Medicine provides a fresh identity and new home to students and faculty, creating a sense of place in the midst of the University of Washington's Magnuson Health Sciences Building, the the world's largest single university building.

The University of Washington, School of Medicine had operated out of the same facility for 40 years. As teaching practices and technology advanced, the facility remained unchanged and eventually left the university with an outmoded learning space in desperate need of a transformative change. The NBBJ team set a goal – “smarter space, not more space” –when bringing the classrooms up to date.

To give students a “home and sense of identity” and staff the means of employing their most current teaching methodologies, the school administration focused on flexible spaces—scalable from six to forty, social and collaborative environments and a facility design consistent with the School’s national ranking and identity. The result is a floor plan that allows faculty to reconfigure classrooms every hour without assistance, switching effortlessly from classroom to lab to exam room.

Corridors are turned ninety degrees to capture daylight and views to the north; a transparent student lounge that is secure and inviting; study nooks cut into the utility wall just outside the lounge; and a floor plan that allows faculty to reconfigure the classrooms every hour without assistance, switching effortlessly from classroom to lab to exam room configurations.

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Video: A Fresh Look at the Floorplan

Awards and Publications

Awards

IES Illumination Award

Publications

Contract magazine,"Flexi-School," October 2009