AKA: University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Molecular Engineering and Sciences (MOL) Building, Seattle, WA; University of Washington, Seattle, (UW), Nano Engineering and Sciences (Nano-ES), Building (NanoES), Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings - schools - university buildings

Designers: Affiliated Engineers NW, Incorporated (firm); Hoffman Construction Company (firm); Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (ZGF) Partnership (firm); Robert J. Frasca (architect); Brooks R. Gunsul (architect); Norman Cunningham Zimmer (architect)

Dates: constructed 2009-2011

5 stories, total floor area: 90,000 sq. ft.

view all images ( of 1 shown)

3946 West Stevens Way NE
University of Washington (UW) Campus, Seattle, WA 98105

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
Google Streetview (new tab)
click to view google map

Building History

Plans announced in 2008 envisioned two Molecular Engineering buildings (Phase 1 and Phase 2) both buildings to be about 70,000 to 80,000 square feet. construction was to begin on Phase 1 in 12/2009. Phase 2 construction will start five or ten years later, if at all. An Seattle Department of Planning and Development Environmental Impact Sign posted by 03/2009, indicated that Phase 1 would be a four-story building with 92,000 square feet; the addition would be five stories with 80,000 additional square feet. As built, the first phase became a five-story building approximately 90,000 square feet. According to an article in the Daily of the University of Washington: "Originally a four-story building with half of the surface area devoted to open ceilings--known as a cold shell to constructors and architects--the team was able to fit another floor within the budget." (See Ravi Venkataraman, Daily of the University of Washington.edu, "New Molecular Engineering Building Nears Completion," accessed 02/15/2012.) The $78.5-million building was to become home to the Molecular Engineering and Science Institute, "...a facility specially designed to promote collaborative molecular-scale research. The building will house a world-class Molecular Analysis Center where state-of-the-art instrumentation will be developed and utilized by the broad research community at UW as well as by the larger non-profit and tech communities in Seattle." The university referred to the institute as an "intellectual accelerator" and as a "...physical incubator where new interdisciplinary teams can come together in a shared space." (See "About the Institute," accessed 02/15/2012.)

Building Notes

The building achieved a LEED Gold rating. Affiliated Engineers, Incorporated, an engineering company with 11 offices in the US and Bahrain, worked on the Molecular Engineering and Sciences Building. AEI had an office located at 1601 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1400, Seattle, WA, 98101.


The $78.5-million building was finished in the late spring 2012. It will be fully devoted to research and will house the Molecular Engineering and Science Institute.

PCAD id: 11655