Founders Hall, University of Washington - Image Page

Founders Hall, Foster School of Business
University of Washington


Seattle, Washington


University of Washington

Collaborators +

Design-Build Contractor: Hoffman Construction

Structural Engineering: Magnusson Klemencic Associates

MEP Engineering: PAE Consulting Engineers

Civil Engineering: Mayfly Engineering and Design

Landscape Architecture: Gustafson Guthrie Nichol

Lighting Design: Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design

Graphics/Signage: Studio Matthews

Environmental Graphics: Advent

Project Size

84,750 square feet

Project Status



Certified LEED New Construction Gold


Architecture, Interior Design, Planning

Part of the larger Foster School of Business complex, the new Founders Hall greatly expands the business school’s capacity while improving the connection to the heart of historic Denny Yard. The project is the first fully mass timber building on campus and embraces the University of Washington Green Building Standards; reducing carbon emissions by over 90%.

The building design creates an intersection of three volumes hosting student-focused team collaboration spaces, administrative program offices, lecture halls, and gathering spaces, all connected by a five-story steel and wood feature stair. The community connector houses the feature wood stair, circulation spaces, and two tiered classrooms. The team bar provides plentiful team and conference rooms along with a rooftop event forum. Its peeled-away brick façade paired with carefully placed glazing exposes the timber inside the building while providing views of the site’s historical Douglas firs, giving the higher floors of the building an immersive experience with the northwest forest character of the site.

Founders Hall reflects the highly social character of business in the new century and aspires to be a sustainable building that will inspire future generations of business leaders.

Photography: Tim Griffith


As an integrated element in both the interior and exterior expression, the building incorporates a mass timber structure with cross-laminated timber decking, reflecting the Foster School’s connection to the northwest and the local wood products industry.

“As a building, Founders Hall has seamlessly woven into the welcoming and inclusive community we have worked hard to create in all of our buildings at the Foster School. It also significantly amplifies our deep commitment to addressing the climate challenges we face today as well as honors the Native land on which the building rests.”

– Frank Hodge, Orin & Janet Smith Dean, Foster School of Business

Hoffman Construction Company

Design-Build Contractor


Selected Awards

2023 AIA National Education Facility Design Award

2023 Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards, Honorable Mention, Learning Category

2023 Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards, Honorable Mention, Spaces and Places Category

2023 Prix Versailles, World Selection

2023 Chicago Athenaeum, American Architecture Award, Honorable Mention

2022 NWCCC, Distinguished Project Award for Public Projects Over $10MM

2022 NWCCC, Award for Innovation & Achievement in Sustainability