Natural Resources Building

Olympia, Washington, USA

This competition-winning design unites the focus of twenty-one specific research areas for the State of Washington’s Department of Natural Resources.

Our challenge included meeting the strict requirements of Washington State Energy and EPA codes. This work that ultimately set a new national standard for building performance. As the first project in the nation to incorporate indoor air quality improvement as a goal, our efforts guided the development of industry standards for green design, including specifying low-VOC materials and implementing recycling and construction waste management protocols.

The design translates the campus’ classical patterns and geometry into a 675-foot curved façade. An off-center rotunda which orients visitors to its entry anchors the building. Innovative laboratory space responds to the specific research areas of the various agencies and reflects their environmentally-sensitive identity and mission. The rotunda’s open public space allows easy access and connection between the various departments in their work managing 5.6 million acres of public lands that bring financial benefit to public schools, state institutions, and county services.