University of Washington Bothell / Cascadia College Student Activities & Recreation Center

Bothell, Washington

Project Size:

35,000 square feet

Project Status:

Completed 2015


Education Design, Interior Design

Through a collaborative process with extensive student involvement, the Student Activities & Recreation Center unites the communities of two institutions – the University of Washington Bothell campus and Cascadia College – in a flexible facility accommodating a rich diversity of students, site conditions, and usage needs. Each institution’s identity co-exists as a unique presence within a shared experience.

Site and Program
The Student Activities & Recreation Center sits in an ecotone, mid-slope between the upland forest of the built campus, and an expansive meadow below that serves as recreation space and viewshed. Stacking the program in 3 levels creates a layered social experience. The first level contains fitness facilities; the second level at the street is devoted to offices and meeting spaces for student government and Student Life professional staff; and the top level is a flexible, multi-purpose event space, connecting via pedestrian bridge with an existing raised event space.

Anticipating the evolution of student body needs, each floor plate is open, flexible, and filled with daylight. Sense of place and campus identity emerges from the wide, sweeping views, complemented by the bold use of color as an organizing element. Each program level features a different interior color, engaging campus spirit from the exterior with a cohesive sense of the program functions within.

Sustainability was a key topic in stakeholder meetings, reflecting UW Bothell’s many commitments to environmental stewardship and climate change. The natural vegetation and hydrology of the site drive the approach to landscape design, which includes native, riparian plantings and rain gardens that collect stormwater from the roof drains. The energy-efficient building envelope works together with operable windows, high-volume/low-speed ceiling fans, and hydronic heating to provide year-round thermal comfort. Windows are strategically oriented to capture views, daylight, ventilation, and heat gain opportunities in harmony with local climate patterns.