Merit - Excellence in Landscape Architecture for General Design

University of Washington

University of Washington North Campus Housing and Denny Field
University of Washington - University of Washington North Campus Housing and Denny Field
Jury Comments
“. . . honored iconic elements while repositioning them for current students . . . great diversity of spaces . . . clear translation of vision from master plan through small detail . . . great partnership between architecture and landscape . . .”


    • Site – 15 acres
    • LEED Gold
    • Forest, community spaces, and courtyards knit together four residence halls.
    • Protecting existing trees and supporting forest health was critical.
    • Town Square is the heart of the new precinct and the confluence of activity and circulation.
    • The North Campus reinterpreted the historic courtyard typology as a series of forested glens.
    • New plantings and rock walls restored disturbed areas.


A core goal of the master plan was to connect students in a residential living-learning community and a landscape fabric that reconciles the historical context of the campus to the adjacent Pacific Northwest Forest. Integration and immersion were primary goals of the project: connecting this housing precinct to the larger campus fabric, creating a holistic living-learning environment where students can build a sense of community, and enmeshing a multitude of social and recreational spaces into an iconic woodland landscape characteristic of the Pacific Northwest. Fifteen acres of North Campus’s forest landscape form a new community environment for 3,000 students where three poorly aged high-rise residential towers once stood. Two of the oldest campus buildings reside within the site, along with the iconic Denny Field, so their seamless integration and reimagination with the new design were critical.

The terrain of the North Campus has over 40 feet of grade change over short distances. The design team established three levels of circulation. At the top of the slope, main building entries and public common areas embrace the pedestrianized Whitman Way. At mid-slope, an ADA-accessible loop connects to a walk linking each residence hall community. This path offers a more intimate residential setting. At the lowest level, service bays provide discrete connections to the buildings, minimizing conflicts with resident life and pedestrian circulation.

The landscape vision protects and extends the character of the forest around the residence halls. The former buildings’ footprints were utilized to site the four new residence halls, ensuring minimal impact on the existing landscape. The most essential protected groves frame views of historic campus spaces like Denny Field.

The structure of the landscape and built elements of the North Campus create an open public realm for the campus and privacy for the residents. The public realm is defined along key campus passages along Whitman Way and Denny Field, while the forest canopy and the building courtyards buffer the more private elements of the residential campus.

Project Team

OLIN, Landscape Architecture; KieranTimberlake, Architect, Prime Consultant; KPFF Consulting, Civil Engineer; Sweeney + Associates, Irrigation Consultant; Dr. Sally L. Brown, Soils Scientist; Tree Solutions, Consulting Arborist; Fisher Marantz Stone, Inc., Lighting Designer; CoughlinPorterLundeen, Structural Engineer; WG Clark Construction Co., Contractor