Fraser Hall Renovation

Western Washington University

Mahlum’s redesign of Fraser Hall, one of the most intensively used instructional facilities, preserves the historic integrity of this highly sculptural building prominently sited on Western’s Red Square. It houses three of the four largest lecture halls on campus and a total of 682 classroom seats. Constructed in 1961, it no longer met pedagogical or ADA compliance standards. Extensive improvements stretched the construction budget to the limit. Upgrades included: mechanical, electrical and life-safety systems; building envelope upgrades; ADA accessibility (particularly elevator and restrooms); new technology to better support modern learning modalities; and replacement of fixed seating and finishes.

The renovated lecture halls created a buzz among faculty for their aesthetic transformation and promised functionality. The building’s circulation core links the lecture halls and houses ADA compliant elevator, stairs, and expanded restroom facilities with puzzle-like precision and without expanding the existing footprint.