University of Washington Denny Hall Renovation
Award of Merit

Owner: University of Washington
Lead Design Firm: Hacker Architects
General Contractor: BNBuilders Inc.

The renovation of Denny Hall, the oldest building on the University of Washington’s Seattle campus, restored the 1890s grandeur of heavy timber and stone while modernizing building systems.

To match the exterior sandstone, brick and terra cotta, the team sourced sandstone from the same quarry used in the 1800s. Many prefabricated components were taken in through the roof because the sandstone facade blocked access.

Restoring the building’s original interior was a top priority, since interior walls and wood decking had been replaced in the 1957 renovation. The team demolished and reconstructed the building’s atrium—a five-story volume—bringing back its original design that featured an open lobby with skylights that was closed off in the 1950s.

When issues with the structural steel installation caused a two-month delay, the team created scaffold platforms to allow work to continue. By implementing a Lean Construction approach, the $34.5-million project finished six months early and under budget.

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