A lot can change in the landscape during a year in which social isolation is the norm. At the University of Washington, the Hans Rosling Center for Population Health has been completed and photographs show a striking new addition to the Seattle campus.
The 300,000-square-foot building is the physical home to the UW’s Population Health Initiative, launched in 2016 as a collaborative effort to address the intersection of human health, environmental resilience and social and economic equity.
The building was funded primarily by a $210 million gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and $15 million in earmarked funding from the Washington State Legislature. It’s named for for Swedish physician Hans Rosling, who has inspired the Gateses with his “rigorous analysis of the true state of the world and his passion for improving heath,” according to the UW.
The Rosling Center is home to the Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation (IHME), an independent population health research center at UW Medicine, whose projections have informed policymakers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Designed by The Miller Hull Partnership and built by Lease Crutcher Lewis, construction on the eight-story Rosling Center at the corner of 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Grant Lane began in April 2018. It features a variety of office types organized as a collection of neighborhoods containing flexible spaces, which can be transformed to meet changing needs.
The boldest side of the building faces west, with physically static, 3-foot-deep glass fins that Miller-Hull says provide “a sense of energetic movement for pedestrians and act as a shaded canvas for changing light conditions throughout the day.”
The university previously said it planned to invest approximately $1.1 million in artwork for the building, roughly split at about $85,000 from public funds and the remainder from private donors
The building is currently accessible for faculty, staff, and students, but like the rest of the UW campus is still operating under Phase 2 guidance, which strongly encourages telework and remote learning. The hope is to return to largely in-person instruction in the fall or as the state’s Healthy Washington plan allows.