Suzzallo Library, University of Washington

University of Washington

Suzzallo Library’s importance to the psyche of the University of Washington is profound. A powerful symbol of learning, it is monumental in scale and magnificently ornate. Successful restoration and rehabilitation of this landmark involved discreet integration of structural, technology and life-safety upgrades without interfering with the Library’s aesthetic integrity.

Great care was taken to preserve historic interior finishes, particularly within the entry lobby, grand stair, octagon and reading room. The new design introduces an exposed batwing-shaped steel strut that grasps existing trusses over the reading room and anchors them to the core structure. Aside from this dramatic intervention, the new steel bones, structural bracing and seismic upgrades are hidden, restoring the building’s historic beauty and preserving its legacy.

This project was completed in association with Cardwell Architects.

AIA Northwest & Pacific Region, Award of Merit (2006) | AIA Washington Council Civic Design Awards Citation Award (2003) | AIA/American Library Association (ALA) Library Building Award (2003) | NW Construction Consumer Council Distinguished Project Awards, Honorable Mention (2002)