News: Press Releases
It is an icon of camp adventure, environmental stewardship and building innovation. It is more than just a Treehouse—it is an immersive experience.
Located in the forest of Summit Bechtel Reserve, the Sustainability Treehouse was built for the Boys Scouts of America’s annual jamboree, serving as a place for environmental education while capturing the imagination of childhood exploration.
“We designed the Treehouse to provide visitors with tangible lessons of sustainable design that would inform their future actions and leave them with a strong connection to this amazing place,” says project designer Brendan Connolly, a partner at Mithun.
Recently, Green Building and Design Magazine featured our project and they describe, in-depth, how the Boys Scouts have “upheld a ‘leave no trace’ ethic on backcountry campouts.” With specific program requirements leave the forest undisturbed, the Treehouse is on target for meeting the Living Building Challenge and was honored with the AIA COTE Top Ten Green Project Award.
Student housing has come a long way from the dorms we remember – today’s facilities are integrated student-life communities with superior academic and recreational amenities.
With a surge in graduating high school students wanting to attend out-of-state, high-ranking universities, the pressure has intensified for institutions to offer outstanding and amenity-rich housing as part of the campus experience. This next wave of student housing design reflects an increasing focus on social interaction, student health and diverse choices to deliver a holistic live-learn community. The University of California, Irvine’s innovative housing expansion for Mesa Court exemplifies how campus development is moving away from the historically self-contained dormitory model and adopting this new approach.
Bill LaPatra, a project director for some of our more complex urban sites and campuses, was recently interviewed by the online commercial real estate journal GlobeSt.com to explain this demand and change in perception within student life and housing:
UCI’s Mesa Court is just one example of how many universities are beginning to adopt this new approach to campus development. As the demand for healthy and connected design continues to rise, universities all over the country are planning more complex, integrated campuses and ultimately redefining student life.
Mithun’s new residence halls for the University of Washington – Lander, Maple and Terry – were recently discussed in an article in the Puget Sound Business Journal. The West Campus neighborhood is undergoing major redevelopment to provide housing in response to increased demand by students to live on campus. Lander Hall, now under construction, will house 650 students and will contain the main dining facility for the neighborhood of almost 5,000 students. Terry and Maple Halls will house 1,100 students and create student-focused open spaces on two public pedestrian plazas. Terry Hall is designed to create an activated gateway into the campus and will house the headquarters for UW Housing and Food Services on its first two floors. The ground floor of Maple Hall will include a game center, a group collaborative project center, an art studio and technology lounge. When all are complete – Lander in 2014, Terry and Maple in 2015 – the buildings will provide urban student housing with the vitality and diversity of an urban neighborhood.
“There’s a huge demand for college housing,” said [Bill] LaPatra of Mithun. “We have a tremendous amount of students coming out of the baby boomers – the echo boomers.”
- Puget Sound Business Journal: UW reinvents the dorm in $800M+ housing upgrade
- Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce*: New dorms bring big changes to UW campus
- The Seattle Times: Out with the old UW dorm, in with the new, plus private bathrooms
Leveraging recent client growth and the nascent economic recovery, Mithun, a Seattle-based architecture, landscape architecture, planning and interior design firm globally known for sustainable design, and Daniel Solomon Design Partners (DSDP) of San Francisco, internationally-known for placed-based urban design and urban housing, announced today a merger which immediately elevates the combined firm’s capabilities in the design for urban residential, mixed use, office, civic, cultural, academic, and institutional clients to meet demand for livable, sustainable cities worldwide.
The Seattle Aquarium has begun construction on the new indoor/outdoor harbor seal exhibit. Mithun’s design improves visibility by removing the chain link around the existing exhibit and replacing it with a glass enclosure that allows visitors to view the animals face-to-face in their natural environment. The project will include a deeper, expanded pool and seating for 100 visitors.
To learn more about the new harbor seal exhibit and how Seattle Aquarium is working to protect wildlife during construction, visit www.kingfive.com.
The U.S. Green Building Council has recently named Mithun Principal, Tom Nelson, AIA, to the 2012 class of LEED Fellows – the green building industry’s most prestigious professional designation. The LEED Fellow designation recognizes exceptional contributions to green building and significant professional achievement within the industry. Nelson has been an integral part of some Mithun’s most sustainable projects including the LEED Platinum UCI Medical Education Building.
Tom Nelson will be recognized with the rest of the 2012 LEED Fellow class at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in November. For more information on the LEED Fellow program, visit www.usgbc.org.
Construction has begun on the $40 million initial phase of Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus. The 388-acre site will be the new home of the School of Sustainability and the Environment. Mithun designed the first phase including a field lab, classrooms, dining hall, café, outdoor amphitheater, mosaic-style garden and on-site wastewater treatment system. Two 150-beds residence halls are scheduled for completion in 2015. All buildings on campus are being designed to meet net-zero energy standards with individual buildings slated for LEED Platinum, Living Building or Passive House certifications. The completed campus targets an average Energy Use Index (EUI) of 20 and includes many locally-sourced materials. The central classroom building will be Living Building Certified as well as net-zero energy, water and waste. During the groundbreaking ceremony last week, Mithun President, David Goldberg, AIA, spoke about our involvement in the project:
“The Eden Hall Campus is a tremendous example of innovation in education, sustainability, and community building. On behalf of the entire design and construction team … we are both humbled and honored at the opportunity to help these great leaders realize their vision for this world class campus.”
- Pittsburgh TribLive: Chatham breaks ground for Richland expansion