University of Washington Foster School of Business Dempsey Hall

Seattle, Washington

Project Size:

New area: 63,000 square feetRenovated area: 4,000 square feet

Project Status:

Completed 2012

LEED Status:

Certified LEED New Construction Gold


Education Design

Dempsey Hall is the second of two completed phases in the transformation of the Foster School of Business, serving as a connecting hub with diverse program functions at the center of the School’s complex. Occupying the footprint of the demolished 1960s-era Ballmer Hall – formerly the School's main building – Dempsey employs creative strategies for filling the interiors with daylight and creating social connectivity and memorable views from all parts of the building.

Site and Program
Dempsey Hall works in concert with the first phase, PACCAR Hall, to create an inner courtyard for the School, while presenting a face toward the campus at large. Housing key administrative functions such as the career services and program offices as well as classrooms and conference rooms, the building’s circulation pathways feed directly from the social buzz of PACCAR’s open atrium spaces via a 2-level, glass-enclosed skybridge. A signature element of Dempsey Hall is Anthony's Forum, a multi-purpose event space overlooking Denny Yard hosting a wide variety of outside visitors, speakers, and conferences.

Dempsey’s exterior facade has two faces. On the more intimate north side, facing the School’s inner courtyard, the façade is entirely glass with a sweeping floor-to-ceiling view, interspersed with landscaping, a historic tree grove, and the light wells of the subterranean Foster Library. The campus side, on the other hand, presents a strong brick expression consistent with campus materiality, with finely detailed window openings that carefully control southern daylight exposure through metal sunshades.

The glass-enclosed skybridge from PACCAR Hall provide a unique double-sided view of the campus and the School courtyard, while offering an additional study niche with breakout tables for informal gathering. The upper level of the bridge leads to Anthony's Forum, a finely detailed space featuring wood wall finishes and natural light spilling from three sides through a combination of overhead clerestory windows and 20-foot high southern window openings.