Miller Hull

Conibear Shellhouse & Student Athletic Center

University of Washington, Seattle, WA
An athletic village by the lake
Client University of Washington
Size 46,000 SF
Completion 2004


The University of Washington Department of Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) and The Miller Hull Partnership have planned and designed an expansion and renovation of the Conibear Shellhouse and associated facilities that create the “athletic village by the lake.” The original building was 27,866 square feet and housed facilities for the Husky Crew Team, Student Athlete Dining, and Student Athlete Academic Services (SAAS). The new facility retains the original 11,000 square foot shell storage area, but adds new construction to create a gross area of 46,000 square feet.

The new building consists of three levels connected by an open stair. The lower level (or Crew Level) includes renovated shell storage bays, crew coach offices, new team rooms, and lockers/ showers/restrooms. Four large “team rooms” are convertible to a single large space via operable wall divisions, but also connect to the shell bays by roll-up glazed doors. The ground level contains the Dining Room/Kitchen/Servery, SAAS reception, administration and main tutoring space as well as a computer lab and a student lounge. An outside covered deck off the dining area provides a space for exterior dining as well as a vantage point for viewing activities on boating and racing days. On the upper level are tutoring spaces, student service offices, and two open study halls.

Although Conibear is partially located in the wetlands meeting Lake Washington, it was carefully sited on the existing foundations of the former crew house, thereby eliminating further impact to the wetlands or wetland buffer. The shell storage bays open directly onto the lake, allowing cool air to naturally ventilate and cool the team work out rooms.