Structure Type: built works - dwellings - housing - student housing

Designers: Mahlum Architects, Incorporated (firm); Walsh Construction Company (firm); Edward Kristian Mahlum (architect); David Swenson (architect); Robert Walsh (building contractor); Thomas Walsh (building contractor)

Dates: constructed 2010-2011

7 stories

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University District, Seattle, WA

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Poplar Hall was one of four new dormitories named for trees located on land on or nearby to NE Campus Parkway. Mahlum Architects of Seattle, WA, was responsible for the design of these dormitories, all named for trees.

Building History

Poplar Hall was built on vacant land neighboring the Playhouse Theatre and UW Employment Office. It contained 270 rooms on 7 floors. Each room was a double-occupancy room with a shared bath. Poplar was one of four new dormitories built following the economic collapse of 2008. These dormitories were expected to provide a new revenue stream that could replace a sharp cut in State of Washington funds. In 2012, quarterly costs for rooms here were $2,664-$3,200. It was planned to accommodate the Honors and Sustainable Living "Learning Communities."

Cedar Hall was the first building completed in a $160 million first phase of West Campus dormitory construction going on in 2010-2012. Cedar was the first finished (07/2011), followed a month later by Poplar Hall (270 beds), Elm Hall (430 beds, finished 07/2012) and Alder Hall (600 beds, completed 07/2012). Mahlum Architects designed this ensemble, giving each building similar cubic forms, white-trimmed, randomly-arrayed fenestrations and grey brick sheathing. All but Elm Hall, shaped around a mature elm on the site, had zero-lot-line placements. All buildings rested on post-tensioned concrete slabs with four or five floors of wood-framed dorm rooms stacked above. First floors were trimmed in glass and cor-ten steel providing added interest at the pedestrian level. W.G. Clark Construction built Cedar and Elm Halls, while Walsh Construction had the contracts for Poplar and Alder Halls.

PCAD id: 17792