Core Design Team

Firm: Integrus Architecture

Brian Carter
Sara Wilder
Bridgette Tinsley
Ian Kane
TJ Hoving


Design Builder: Absher Construction
Structural Engineers: Integrus Architecture
Mechanical Engineers: Glumac
Electrical Engineers: PAE
Civil Engineers: AHBL
Acoustical Engineers: A3

Project Narrative

The renovation of the historic 1902 Parrington Hall for the University of Washington worked to achieve a vision to transform one of the original campus buildings into a building which fosters innovation and collaboration while respecting its history. The project is a $19 million progressive design-build renovation of the 56,000 SF four-story building to enhance the teaching and learning spaces to meet the needs of the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. The project was to both respect the architectural traditions of central campus and develop a design to directly support contemporary education and approaches to public policy which are inclusive and equitable across student and faculty cultural context and experience.

The design team and stakeholders focused on four key goals/challenges;

  • How the spaces in the building could be re-imaged to support and represent the vision of the Evan’s school to truly become home to the program.
  • Be responsive to student voices and desires toward the design of inclusive and collaborative learning spaces.
  • Further support a sustainable environment through improving building energy performance and meet LEED Gold.
  • Employ progressive design-build project delivery methods as an innovative approach to renovations on UW campus.

The Evans School
The Evans School’s vision to provide ‘the next generation of public service leaders with an innovative and inspiring learning environment, so that they can – in turn – bring innovative and inspiring solutions to the world’s most challenging public problems,’ set the tone for the project. The connection of how the design of spaces can directly embody their vision and effect the quality of their program drove many of the project decisions by the University and the Design/Build team. A vision of both education, policy, and the built environment which are open, inviting, intersectional, and interconnected. The design physically supports the curriculum by doubling the number of large collaborative classrooms, expanded administration, faculty, and student resources, as well as, open collaboration spaces that define the school and student experience through out the building.

Student Voices
Critical to the success of the Parrington Hall renovation was engaging with and listening to student voices. With the goal to provide inclusive and equitable spaces a vehicle to listen and learn from students emerged. A student task force with the collaborative mission to engage first-year, continuing masters and PhD students, as well as alumni stakeholders was established. This student formulated and led group developed a qualitative survey designed to assess project priorities and reached 130 respondents. Major themes included: accessibility, racial, gender and family inclusion, student well-being, and collaborative academic spaces. In the context of these themes a series of specific responses and recommendations for classrooms, collaborative spaces, and technology were shared with the Evans School leadership and Design/Build team. This input directly lead to the inclusion into the project of open and accessible collaboration spaces centrally located to engage the daily life of students. This necessitated a design that re-conceived the existing compartmentalized interior space layout to create a series of open collaboration spaces. These spaces became defined by a new open stair, ample daylight, expressed structure, and reclaimed materials. Significant modification of the original building infrastructure and support spaces were undertaken to provide inclusive restrooms, family support spaces, and accessible technology.

The project created an innovative and sustainable building to support the next generation of students. The project is expected to earn LEED Gold certification and is currently in the review process. By renovating the building instead of constructing a new building the project goes beyond LEED to lower the overall impact on embodied carbon. The restoration of the facade respected the architectural character of the building and provided the opportunity to insulate the walls and roof for the first time in over 100 years, greatly reducing annual energy consumption and operational carbon impacts. A program of reclamation and re-use guided the project with the new central stair and wood flooring being re-claimed as well as the marble entry feature walls which began life as toilet partitions.

Project Delivery
Parrington having undergone multiple renovations throughout the years there were many layers of the historical building to uncover and then fit back together. A key challenge was avoiding the City of Seattle’s substantial alteration requirements.

The progressive design-build process provided the team environment that as existing conditions were discovered a collaborative framework was in place with all stakeholders to find solutions to keep the project below the substantial alteration threshold. Navigating this threshold was critical, since required substantial alteration upgrades would have exhausted budget resources without allowing for the required program upgrades. This project delivery approach is now the model for historic renovations to be planned and built on the UW campus. The team set the standard for the contract type, project teaming, MWBE/DBE/SBE tracking, and integrated design inclusive of end-user input for innovative learning environments.

At the heart of the renovation of Parrington Hall is a design approach which respected important historic layers and context while transforming the interior experience and learning environments into inclusive and welcoming spaces that directly support the expectations, desires, and education of the next generation of students.