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In Seattle, Miller Hull Establishes a Global Hub for Population Health Research
Source: Metropolis Magazine
2-9-2021 | News
By Lauren Gallow
The eight-story Hans Rosling Center takes cross-disciplinary collaboration as its watchword.
At the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, which has emerged as a leader in global health data during the pandemic, the new Hans Rosling Center for Population Health is poised to become an epicenter for life-saving public health research.
“This project was about planting a flag in the sand, announcing Seattle as the center of gravity for research and innovation around population health,” says Ruth Baleiko, partner at Miller Hull Partnership, which designed the building. “For UW, this was a big, bold, and audacious project.”
Located on a transitional site between the historic campus core and an up-and-coming university district, the building creates a new campus nexus. Miller Hull’s design of the 290,000-square-foot Hans Rosling Center was driven by the belief that interdisciplinary collaboration is key to solving global health challenges, bringing together departments including the School of Public Health, the Department of Global Health, and the Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation (IHME), an independent research center providing data on global health issues, including COVID-19.
“UW has broad expertise across disciplines, as well as strong external partnerships with community groups and government entities,” says Derek Fulwiler, director of strategy for UW’s Population Health Initiative, which commissioned the project. “That ecosystem now has a single home, a place for out-of-the-box creative conversations that will lead to the next generation of solutions for population health.” The building announces its ethos of collaboration through a parti of interlocking rectangular volumes, which contain seven stories of research offices and hover above a ground floor of public convening spaces and classrooms.
“The building’s manifesto is about engagement: within and between teams inside, and beyond the four walls,” says Miller Hull’s Baleiko. Envisioned as a series of neighborhoods where various office types intermix with shared meeting spaces, the floors are arranged around a central convening stair meant to encourage healthy movement, as well as to advance the guiding aim of cross-pollination among occupants and visiting partners.