Project Description2003 RADA
Multifamily / Merit
This University of Washington student housing complex was designed to encourage community among its population of mostly married graduate students and their families. The jury felt the project achieved that goal, and did it with outstanding regard to the site's steep topography. "The way that some buildings work their way up the site and others sit horizontally is interesting, energetic, and fun," said the judges.
Architect Ron van der Veen explains that the "buildings of danger"—as he calls the units that bifurcate the slope—were set up as gateways into small "neighborhoods within the village." The neighborhoods are arranged around scattered shared greens so that kids, especially, can travel from one to the other without encountering traffic.
A community center serves as a centralized gathering spot for study groups or social events, and a child development center provides enriching activities for the smallest scholars.