AKA: University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Population Health Facility, Seattle, WA; University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Rosling, Hans, Center for Population Health, Seattle, WA

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

Designers: Arnett Electrical Industries (AEI Electric) (firm); KPFF Consulting Engineers (firm); Lease Crutcher Lewis, Building Contractors (firm); Miller Hull Partnership, LLP (firm); PAE Consulting Engineers (firm); Veterans Electrical Contractors Association (VECA) Electric and Technologies (firm); Lloyd Arnett (electrical engineer); James Crutcher (building contractor); Robert E. Hull (architect); Howard S. Lease (building contractor); William Lewis (building contractor); David Edward Miller (architect); Whitney Pearce (architect)

Dates: constructed 2018-2020

total floor area: 300,000 sq. ft.

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NE 40th Street and 15th Avenue NE
University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided $210 million to erect a Population Health Building on the University of Washington (UW) Campus, official approval for which was gained from the UW Regents on 05/11/2017. According to UW Today, a university publicity organ, the State of WA would also contribute $20 million for this 300,000-square-foot building located to the southeast of the NE 40th Street and 15th Avenue NE intersection. The UW Today said: "The new facility will create space for ongoing collaboration among students and faculty from the six schools of Health Sciences and the rest of the University. The goal is to create innovation in Population Health across many disciplines and investigate the biomedical, social behavioral, cultural, environmental and physical factors affecting the health of populations around the world. The building will include rooms for collaborative group work, active learning spaces, technology-rich rooms to accommodate data visualization, offices and online interactive teaching and training for global partners." (See Victor Balta, UW Today.edu, "UW Regents approve central campus site for Population Health building to house collaborative research and teaching ," published 05/11/2017, accessed 05/12/2017.) Guthrie Annexes 1, 2, 3 and 4 were located on the site, and programs using these wood-frame buildings were relocated elsewhere on campus.

Building History

Ground was broken for the Population Health Facility on Wednesday, 04/25/2018. The facility was paid for by a $210 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and about $15 million contributed by the State of Washington. According to the UW News.edu, "The Population Health Initiative is a 25-year effort to create a world where all people can live healthier and more fulfilling lives. The UW defines population health as revolving around three major pillars — human health, environmental resilience, and social and economic equity." (See Jackson Holtz, UW News.edu, "UW breaks ground on new Population Health building," published 04/25/2018, accessed 05/09/2018.) Improving three aspects of life globally would define the goals of the faculty and staff working in this building.

Foundation work was being done on the Population Health Building during 09/2018.

In 10/2019, the University of Washington named the building for Hans Rosling, (1948-2017), a Swedish physician and public health advocate. Rosling spent his early career in Mozambique before returning to Sweden, where he taught public health at Uppsala University and was a Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute in Solna, Sweden. Rosling also was a co-founder and chairman of the Stockholm-based Gapminder Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable international development. Gapminder produced a number of software tools useful in making presentations on international health issues.

Completion of the building was originally set for 2020, but did not officially open to the public until the autumn of 2021, due to COVID-19. In 2021, the building housed the UW's Department of Global Health, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), components of the School of Public Health and offices of the Population Health Initiative.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) became a highly influential creator of data on the spread and mortality rates related to the illness. IHME statistics were used by the government and news media prominently throughout the pandemic's course in 2020.

As per an article in the UW News.edu by Jake Ellison, the architects derived inspiration about the building's design from its interdisciplinary and humane function. He wrote: "The design for the Hans Rosling Center for Population Health draws its inspiration from the Population Health Initiative itself, with a focus on the health and wellness of its inhabitants as well as on global health issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, water preservation and material toxicity,” said Whitney Pearce, an architect and project manager with Miller Hull. The design optimizes opportunities for connection and collaboration among the building inhabitants, with program elements that support active, healthy lifestyles and workspaces that encourage working together, Pearce explained, adding that art and storytelling elements are integrated throughout the facility. These elements speak to the mission of both the building and the occupants, creating opportunities for education and inspiration." (See Jake Ellison, UW News.edu, "Hans Rosling Center wins state, national architectural design and project awards," published 12/03/2021, accessed 12/06/2021.)

Building Notes

In 10/2017, the total cost of the building was said to be $230 million.

A light sculpture by Rachel Mica Weiss, called "Boundless Topographies" hung from the ceiling of the Rosling Center's first floor in 2021.

In 2021, the Rosling Center had been awarded various awards by architectural and construction groups. The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) presented it with three prizes, including its Award of Excellence in the Educational Building category and an award for Best in Design. It was also was named the DBIA's Project of the Year.

The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design bestowed an American Architecture 2021 Award on the Rosling Center. It was one of 125 outstanding buildings in the US recognized.

The Association of General Contractors of Washington voted the building its Public Project over $100 Million Category in 2021.

The American Institute of Architects, Seattle Chapter, gave it an Award of Merit in 2021, one of four made that year.

According to Jake Ellison of the UW News.edu, "The building project also achieved LEED Gold Certification through a number of sustainable building systems such as rainwater catchment and reuse for flushing bathroom fixtures, increased ventilation rates for improved indoor air quality, heat recovery from the West Campus Utility Plant for heating, as well as highly efficient radiant heating and cooling made possible by high-performance window and wall assemblies." (See Jake Ellison, UW News.edu, "Hans Rosling Center wins state, national architectural design and project awards," published 12/03/2021, accessed 12/06/2021.)

PCAD id: 21237