Structure Type: built works - public buildings - schools - university buildings; built works - research structures - laboratories

Designers: Perkins and Will, Architects (firm); Sellen Construction Company, Incorporated (firm); Lawrence B. Perkins (architect); John Henry Sellen Sr. (building contractor/civil engineer); Phillip Will Jr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 2011-2013

total floor area: 183,000 sq. ft.

South Lake Union, Seattle, WA

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South Lake Union, Seattle, WA

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The University of Washington (UW) sought to expand its research facilities for immunology, vision study, kidney study, and rheumatology, but space had been used up on the main campus. Working with Vulcan Real Estate, UW began an aggressive expansion of laboratory spaces at South Lake Union. In its first phase of growth, the UW took over the former Washington Natural Gas Building (aka the "Blue Flame" Building) at 815 Mercer Street in 01/2005, and built a neighboring Phase II office and lab building by 06/2008. The press release of 07/07/2011 stated of the first two buildings: "The Phase I facility focuses on cutting-edge research in microbiology, biomarkers, biologic imaging, cancer vaccines, heart regeneration, inflammation and proteomics. This research activity is extended in Phase II facilities, particularly in the area of regenerative medicine, which grows and organizes UW Medicine’s strength in developmental biology, therapeutic delivery systems, neurobiology, genetics and aging linking them more closely with specific diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, diabetes, hearing loss, strokes, heart regeneration, liver diseases, and bone and joint regeneration and repair." (See "Third Phase of UW Medicine research complex breaks ground in South Lake Union district,"Accessed 04/24/2012.) Phase III was conceived to include three buildings, erected on a parcel bounded by Mercer Street, Republican Street, Dexter Avenue North and 8th Avenue North; the three buildings, if completed, would contain about 542,000 square feet of space for laboratories and offices. UW Medicine and Vulcan worked with Perkins + Will, Architects, well-known for their research laboratory buildings, and Sellen Construction. The National Development Council (NDC) issued $165 million in bonds to pay for Building 3.1 which would contain 183,000 square feet; a possible 359,000 additional square feet could be built in Buildings 3.2 and 3.3. The Seattle City Council approved higher site regulations to accommodate the UW's plans, raising the 85-foot limit to 120 feet, but did not expand zoning rules on building volume, as well. Construction on the concrete and steel Building 3.1 began with the ceremonial groundbreaking on 07/06/2011 and had a estimated completion date of Spring 2013.

According to a 07/07/2011 press release put out by UW Medicine: "...the Phase III buildings allow UW Medicine to continue expanding its growing research centers and enhancing collaboration among new research groups. It is estimated that Phase III alone will create more than 1,400 UW jobs and over 3,000 new jobs regionally. The Phase III building is also expected to generate nearly 600 union-wage construction jobs. In addition, Phase III is expected to bring in more than $100 million in revenue from research grants, supporting UW Medicine and South Lake Union’s position as a global leader in biomedical research." (See "Third Phase of UW Medicine research complex breaks ground in South Lake Union district,"Accessed 04/24/2012.) Completion of all three buildings of Phase III could take as long as 10 years and cost approximately $360 million.

PCAD id: 17791