UW West Campus Guidance for the Public Realm

Seattle, WA

Advancing the physical framework of the exterior public spaces to define the University’s growing district.

West Campus is the most urban of UW’s four campus sectors and accommodates a wide range of uses including student housing, academic, research, commercial/retail, and cultural programs. The role of the public realm to enhance the inter-activity of West Campus is critical, and the creation of guidelines will inform design excellence of a new campus landscape and provide guidance to prospective campus partners in the siting and design of new facilities within West Campus.

To define the West Campus district, the guidelines pay special attention to creating a productive public realm, to mobility with a focus on bicycle and pedestrian access, and to ecological function. Public realm goals and aspirations include: vicinity and interrelationship of open space and streetscape environments that consider the landscape character, topography, and site history; social interaction and collaborative environments that maximize indoor/outdoor relationships and ground floor uses that result in a ground floor activation framework; connectivity between West Campus and its surrounding including the waterfront and central campus; and mobility considerations for people on foot, on bike, riding transit, or in a personal vehicle to create a safe pedestrian-focused environment with prioritization of streets and/or zones of streets to support each mode of travel.