UW Medicine

Seattle, WA, 2003

The site of this concept proposal is the main entrance to the University of Washington Hospital in Seattle, Washington. It is a level site with an automobile turnout for transporting visitors. Approximately 75% of the site is covered with a planter that impedes pedestrian cross flows. Large sliding glass doors connect the plaza to the hospital, gift store and café.

The primary goal of this proposal is to make the plaza a transitional connector between the hospital and the city, providing patients and visitors with a waiting center for transport to and from the hospital. The plaza would also function as a center for outdoor leisurely activities.

The concept narrative is based on patient recovery and rehabilitation. A boulder mist fountain, emitting a diffused glow – sits at the center of the site and symbolizes injury or illness. A swale of grass unwinds from the boulder mist fountain – evoking a continual progression to recovery. Radiating walls represent significant thresholds to recovery.

The boulder mist fountain is the core element. The boulders – acting as remnants of an injury or illness – follow the swale of grass as it spirals outward. The boulders diminish as they rotate away from the core. Concurrently, the swale of grass grows progressively taller and greener as it too spirals outward. At one point, the projecting walls block the boulders from continuing – symbolically halting the remnants of injury or illness. Throughout the site, however, the walls allow for the swale of grass to cut through them. Ultimately, the swale of grass symbolically leads the patient to recovery – to a lushly planted and fully accessible area of the plaza.


UW Medicine