Weyerhaeuser Hall

University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington

 
The Center for Health Sciences at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington is the first building designed within the guidelines of the university's new master plan. This 58,800 gross square foot facility houses occupational therapy and physical therapy programs, psychology and exercise science departments, and a new undergraduate neuroscience program.

The Center for Health Sciences extends the University's rich architectural fabric to the south end of campus, as intended by the master plan. Located on a gently sloping site at the edge of a dense grove of mature cedar and fir trees, the building responds to two distinctly different circumstances. At the grove on the west elevation, a formal entrance tower welcomes students from campus and Commencement Walk. The east entry on the lower floor accommodates the nearby community using the public clinic operated by the graduate physical and occupational therapy programs. A brick retaining wall wraps around the Mobility Park, a large therapy garden that offers simulated outdoor environments to be used extensively by clinic patients from the occupational and physical therapy programs.

The design echoes the University's Tudor Gothic architecture with its simple gable roof forms, projecting bay windows, and a warm palette of materials including brick, stone and terra cotta. Delicate window patterns and subtle brick detailing reflect the characteristics of the historic part of campus. At the interior, the heart of the building is a skylit atrium space with a grand, cantilevered steel stair linking all four floors. The use of bold colors and extensive glazing characterize a lively gathering and circulation space. Teaching classrooms and laboratories shared by all departments are clustered around this atrium, further enlivening the center of the building.

Reflecting the University's commitment to sustainability, the Center for Health Sciences was awarded LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Awards

2013 Brick In Architecture Award, Silver, Educational Category
Brick Industry Association
2012 Honor Award, Higher Education Category
Masonry Institute of Washington
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