University of Washington Paul G Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering

Seattle, Washington

Project Size:

New area: 165,000 square feetRenovated area: 22,000 square feet

Project Status:

Completed 2003


Education Design, Interior Design

Selected Awards

2008 AIA Northwest & Pacific Region

Award of Merit

2003 AIA Washington Council Civic Design Awards

Merit Award

2003 ENR Northwest

Award of Excellence

2002 AIA What Makes It Green?

Sustainable Design Award

The design responds to an unusual tear in campus fabric (previously unfinished building project), an adjacent historic tree grove, and UW CS&E’s entrepreneurial culture to create a highly interactive, flexible interior environment that supports innovative, interdisciplinary research activities.

The “L-shaped” plan adjoins the existing building to form a day-lighted internal courtyard that functions as a café, central gathering area and multi-purpose events space.  Research workrooms, office and classrooms, computer laboratories and administrative spaces are laterally organized to reinforce the Center’s collaborative investigations and continually evolving team structures.

The architectural expression—through use of materiality, scale, proportion and detail— mediates between the neo-gothic character of older central campus buildings and the modern functionality of the program.  A system of external sunshades forms a vertical trellis that eliminates problematic glare and optimizes day-lighting of computer-intensive offices.  Natural, warm-tone interior materials, combined with systematic organization and expression of building systems, create an interior character and sense of place that embodies the open, intellectually and socially vigorous culture of UW CS&E.

LMN is currently working the University of Washington to build a second CSE facility, beginning with a site feasibility study in 2014.