University of Washington, Foster School of Business, Founders Hall

Seattle, Washington

Project Status:

Anticipated Completion 2022

LEED Status:

Targeting LEED New Construction Gold


Education Design

Situated on a distinctive campus open space that connects to the greater business school complex, the new Founders Hall greatly expands the Foster School of Business capacity while improving the connection to the heart of Central Campus and Denny Yard. The new 85,000 SFT building will be a complementary, cohesive addition designed to harmonize with the existing Foster School and embrace its surrounding landscape. A central community connector which facilitates entrance and vertical circulation frames the two program “bars” encompassing the public-facing team bar and the more private office bar. The community connector houses the feature stair, circulation spaces, prefunction spaces, and two tiered classrooms that can be set for 65 or 135 students. The team bar provides 28 team and interview rooms; four executive conference rooms, a student commons with an outdoor terrace, and a rooftop event forum.

The project is a model for sustainable design at University of Washington and is embracing UW’s Green Building Standards to reduce carbon emissions by over 90%. As an integrated element in both the interior and exterior expression, the building incorporates a heavy timber structure with cross-laminated timber decking, reflecting the Seattle business community’s ongoing history with northwest wood products and reducing the building’s embodied carbon by 58%.

The building features a series of new collaborative public spaces designed to encourage teamwork and foster spontaneous interaction amongst students, program staff, and the broader business community.  The classrooms, conference facilities, and recruiting spaces provide expanded opportunities for community and corporate engagement through hosting events and inviting outside speakers, alumni, and corporate recruiters. The project seamlessly connects with historic Denny Yard with pedestrian connections, landscape terraces, and integrated rain gardens which engage the sloping site and embrace the building in evergreen trees and northwest forest plantings. 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.