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  2012 Building of the Year



Erin Zarafshan of Vancouver is the winner of the Kindle Fire HD.

 Paul G. Allen Center for Global Animal Health  13881 
 Husky Union Building  12596 
 UW Molecular Engineering and Sciences Building  4458 
 Federal Center South  1928 
 UW Montlake Tower addition  1163 
 MOHAI  495 
 Chihuly Garden and Glass  459 
 LeMay - Americas Car Museum  331 
 Consolidated Rental Car Facility  94 

Paul G. Allen Center for Global Animal Health
$44 million building with 62,000 square feet of space for biomedical research; equipped to research emerging diseases

Owner: Washington State University
Architect: ZGF
General contractor: Bouten Construction Co.


  • Incredible building fostering the open and collaborative research needed to solve our world's most pressing problems.
  • All I want to say is Thank You Paul Allen for your continued support of WSU. Phyllis M. Nilson, Library Specialist Supervisor, School of Music, retired--and WSU Alum 1968
  • There is a great need for the work that will be done in this building
  • outstanding forward thinking spaces that are impacting global animal health!
  • I have the pleasure of working in this fantastic research space!!!
  • WSU is the best! Love them!
  • Color and the glass for this building can bring up the life for the campus.
  • The PGA Center for Global Animal Health will enable and encourage cutting edge research on solving global health issue and the spread of disease from animals to humans.
  • Great building with only greater things to come from within.
  • Beautiful arquitecture!. Best views on Campus
  • State of the art technology and low environmental footprintn and beautiful architecture.
  • Thanks to Paul Allen & the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for funding this building at WSU
  • One of the countries leading programs on animal health getting a new building?! Yes it should be known. Thanks Paul Allen
  • A beautiful example of philanthropy that will positively impact the world.
  • For the betterment of the State, Country, World and all the people within.
  • This building is truly state-of-the-art!
  • This is the best building ever!!
  • This is a wonderful addition to the WSU Pullman Campus, to the Palouse region and to the state of Washington!
  • I work with the Interior WSU Interior Designer who picked out the furnishings and helped the architects refine the finish choices. It's an excellent building and everyone at WSU CPD who worked on the project did a wonderful job!
  • Beautiful building. Functional with lots of light.
  • The glass entrance is grandiose and the world carving in wonderful!
  • This is an absolutely love this building.
  • I like the way the building looks. the windows are wonderful
  • Biological Safety Level III! This place is incredible. It will directly impact the health of people all over the world.
  • I have personally visited this building and it has a favorable open space.
  • Great choice of buildings.
  • This beautiful facility at WSU engages doctors and students in programs that save lives in Africa and all over the world. This past week, members of the Seattle Sounders FC were in Tanzania working with medical personnel from WSU & Tanzania to promote their vaccination effort to keep animals and people from contracting rabies. This building and the work that's done within it's walss can change the world and is already contibuting o global health.
  • Its a building with a very important mission
  • If in the Pullman area I'd highly recommend going inside the building. The exterior of the structure is very eye pleasing but you'll be awed by the excellent work done by the architects of the interior.
  • I attend WSU and this building really services the students well
  • What a beautiful building for such wonderful research on global animal health in our world today. So important to everyone!
  • Watched this building start from the ground up. Impressive! Beautiful
  • Paul G. Allen doing great things, yet again!
  • This is an amazing building.
  • The color, The structure, GREAT!!
  • I love this building! It is so innovative and fresh. The style really blends in well with the scenery of the area. Not to mention, it is very eco-friendly.
  • I love this building. It's so beautifully modern. This building always enlightens my mood even by a single glance.
  • What a beautiful building, and one with a great purpose.
  • Hope Bouten wins Project Of The Year... Pretty cool lookin project... Step dad was a part of the project...
  • What a cool building !!We just love it.
  • We toured this facility last fall and it was very impressive as were the professors who toured and educated us about the building and the research conducted there.
  • I like the red and the sky
  • Sets in nicely with surroundings
  • Superb structure, keeping with surrounding historical buildings; masonry is the LEED material of choice. Way to go WSU.
  • Another beautiful building for the University.
  • This is looking like a Cougar/Huskie thing.....Let's Go Cougs!
  • Love this building! Go Cougs!
  • DJC - Please examine the thousands of robo-votes that have been going to the Husky Union Bldg over the past 4-5 days.
  • Great project and beautiful building.
  • Would like to see more of this type of building.
  • Go Cougs, this is an amazing building.
  • Go Cougs ! Awesome building, awesome college, awesome construction company that did that building. Family owned in Spokane, Washington. USA !! :)
  • Important research is taking place in this beautiful building. What helps animals get better may also be beneficial to humans.
  • To look at this picture, it stands alone and as beautiful as it is, to really appreciate it, you have to see it live on campus amoungst all the other buildings and the hussle and bussle of every day life.
  • Thank you for deleting the robo-votes from the tally.
  • Amazing research is conducted in this building.
  • Hands down the best building of year!! Go Cougs!
  • Took a tour inside the building recently. Very inovative!
  • Just a beautiful building.
  • it looks even better on the inside
  • this building is very nice
  • great look, better purpose...
  • What a wonderful building.
  • PAul Allen and WSU Cougs are rockin' the animal health world. this is an inspiring effort!
  • love brick builds and animals!
  • Beautiful building for a great student body - ENJOY COUGARS!!!
  • Is your vote counter (on this page) turned off? The "total number of votes cast" has been stuck on 29346 all day.
  • Great goal of LEED Gold! - Chuck Crane, Owner, Back to Terra, Las Vegas, NV
  • Beautiful addition to the Washington State University Campus
  • The building looks just wonderful. It's a great addition to all of our other buildings on campus. It will help with the research of animal care.
  • Proud to be a WSU and WSU Vet Med alumni!
  • A visit to this building shows how the design is intended for the use of researchers. GO COUGS
  • I go to WSU, and have into and go by the building every day. It is simply amazing, a top of the line building that will have a profound affect on the campus academically and for research.
  • Great addition to the WSU Campus. It has incorporated the brick and mortar feel of the campus while showcasing the innovations of the university.
  • This is a really nice building!
  • Thanks for the contest. I work near the Paul G. Allen Center and it truly is an excellent building.

Husky Union Building
260,000-square-foot renovation of a 1949 building that has been expanded and remodeled over the years

Owner: University of Washington
Architect: Perkins+Will
General contractor: Skanska


  • It is a beautiful building
  • This building fits like a glove into the campus landscape.
  • The Husky Union building represents a commitment by the University of Washington to continually provide their student boy with an optimal learning environment.
  • It's pretty amazing how the building integrates the look of a modern campus building with the traditional exterior that remains in place.
  • Beautiful Building, new addition and restoration
  • It was really great to see how the students and staff are able to use and enjoy the new space.
  • This structure is magnificent!
  • Stunning renovation of a cherished old UW building!
  • A beautiful building and a wonderful resource for many generations of Huskies!
  • I worked in the old Husky Union Building before it was remodeled. I am SO pleased to see the renovation. It is inspiring! What a beautiful addition to the UW campus and a fantastic place for students to gather and learn.
  • Great atmosphere, nice spacing & natural lighting.
  • Looks great. These guys did a wonderful job.
  • The new building shines with light (thanks to new skylight and light-colored interiors). Way improved from it's former self.
  • HUB has great lighting, good use of old and new, and nice terrazzo work.
  • Great place to hang out, love the mix of old and new architecture!
  • It is not only an amazing building addition to the campus, it is an amazing resource for all students and staff alike.
  • Most beautiful building of its type I've seen on any college campus!
  • Super sustainable project, awesome layout , very welcoming!
  • The HUB is special because it was funded by the students.
  • Nice work - VAST IMPROVEMENT
  • As a Husky who spend many hours at the HUB I am happy to see it modernized.
  • Great demolition and abatement. Congratulations Skanska.
  • Skanska is a world class builder. Excellent work.
  • As a former employee, who had the opportunity to work in the former HUB, the new HUB is spectacular!
  • Is that the best picture you got? That picture DOES NOT do this building justice!!! The HUB is AMAZING!!!!! :)
  • Beautiful, open, airy and yet friendly atmosphere. Lovely remodel!
  • The HUB has changed out of all recognition (for the better!) The architects should be congratulated on having the vision to convert a dingy, institutional rabbit warren into the exuberant and welcoming place that it is today.
  • Awesome toilets that allow two levels of flushing, one for liquids and one for solids. How green is that?! :)
  • A great place for lunch and to hang out in general!
  • The HUB is newer, and much more modern. I love walking around inside this building.
  • I love how this project melds and transforms the old with the new.
  • Great adaptive reuse success story with great attention paid to the history of the building.
  • Setting a new standard for green design!
  • NCM partnered with Skanska to provide a first class building.
  • Fantastic finished product
  • A Great open design with lots of natural light
  • Great student friendly renovation of a Historic building on campus.
  • A building preserved and updated, being used and appreciated daily by a great number and diversity of people.
  • As a student my experience in the HUB has taught me some very helpful professional and life skills such as: 1. How to manage a large budget 2. How to negotiate office politics 3. How to set up a meeting 4. How to create a report 5. Time management 6. How to coordinate volunteers 7. How to Illicit information and feedback 8. How to campaign and win an election 9. How to make a meeting agenda 10. How to fry frybread efficiently 11. Public speaking skills 12. How to have fun while learning 13. How to run a concession stand 14. The basics of applying for money 15. How to critically review money request 16. How to run a meeting 17. How to say thank you 18. How to ask for help 19. How to create a budget 20. The importance of transparency and community involvement 21. How to create an advocacy agenda 22. How to debate an advocacy agenda 23. How to debate 24. The value in utilizing space effectively 25. How to network And many more things, the list goes on…. Thank you HUB for being part of my college experience and for helping in the development of my current skill set :)
  • This building serves the students at UW exceptionally well, providing opportunities for community building and self expression. Well Done!

UW Molecular Engineering & Sciences Building
LEED gold building with 90,000 square feet of research labs, offices and common areas; uses goo in the walls for insulation

Owner: University of Washington
Architect: ZGF
General contractor: Hoffman Construction Co.


  • My nomination comes from knowing the intellectual symbolism behind the MoleE building. The building is designed to nurture ideas - groundbreaking, earth-shattering ideas - about how molecules interact. The green roof and the air circulation are great, but the building is about idea-circulation and how we can shatter the silos between disciplines.
  • Very open and inviting building with very pleasant landscaping and green friendly structures outside.
  • The transparency is amazing! Love it!
  • very nice put together building. so many window!

Federal Center South
209,000-square-foot headquarters for the Seattle District of the Army Corps of Engineers; one of the most sustainable office buildings in the country

Owner: U.S. General Services Administration
Architect: ZGF
General contractor: Sellen Construction


  • It was the sustainability of this building that won my vote.
  • There are so many local references in this building like naming areas after local rivers. It has great use of old materials from building demoed on the site. The use of natural materials inside was so natural they had to run the opossums and racoons out. And a gaggle of Canadian geese have taken up residence just outside the front door. They reuse run off water in the restrooms.
  • State of the art technology and masterful planning make this one amazing project!!
  • This is a truly innovative building. The benefits will accrue to all, espcecially the users/tenants.
  • This sets a new high bar for public projects.
  • of all the projects I've worked on (including 2 others on the list . . . ) this is by far the most innovative and ambitious, a truly next generation workplace that performs at an extremely high level of sustainability.
  • Exceptional building - well done to the entire team - Owner, Contractor and Design Team!!
  • Sustainability within the built environment is a top priority, and this building shows this best.
  • This is a gorgeous building!
  • Outstanding example of a successful design/build process with a visionary client committed to true sustainability.
  • It's a beautful- and sustainable- building
  • This project is full of big ideas, integrated design and construction and sets the bar for the future.
  • Great building and a great team, from Owner to Contractor to Subcontractors to Suppliers. Great job!
  • an amazing building to tour if you get the chance.
  • This is a "feel good" building. The visual of the interior atrium and the ability to have access to exterior daylight is so uplifting. It makes for a very pleasant work day!
  • Great use of space and light; very open design.
  • Anning Johnson rocks!!!!! All over the US
  • Cutting edge energy efficiency and craftsmanship are what this building is all about!
  • Fantastic building--especially "back to nature" interior! :-)
  • What a great Team effort by all!
  • Powerful geometry and exterior cladding systems with wonderful mix of wood and steel in the interiors. There is a sense of delight and comfort in the eyes of the beholder.
  • Functionality and sustainability!
  • Sustainability is HUGE, and the design is very aesthatic! Beautiful!!
  • Back in the early 1980's I worked at the Federal Center South complex, and am thrilled to see this building completely restored into a beautiful building. (My mom worked in the building during WWII)
  • You should have a picture of the interior atrium on the website - that shows off more of the great features of the building.
  • Great project for the entire team!
  • This building is amazing!! I would love to work in a building like this one.
  • Great reuse of wooden roof trusses originally used in a nearby warehouse.
  • This project has received national acclaim and a testimate to the future of project delivery.
  • This is by far the greenest office building around and exemplifies material re-use at its best.
  • This project is so unique from the integrated design-build contract, to the retention being held until performance has been confirmed 1 year later, to all the sustainable design and construction methods/features. It is a top notch building that is in the 99th percentile for energy consumption reduction as compared to all buildings in the US.
  • The use of light and the feeling of being in the outdoors is a perfect fit for the Northwest staff.
  • Best example of reduce, reuse, recycle, taking wood products from their old facility and installing in this building.
  • Spectacular craftsmanship !
  • Toured it yesterday. Beautiful, and well designed. I fear for the first lahar or 50 years of sea level rise, but other than that it was well thought out.
  • We know the amazing Sub "G. R. Plume" who did the wood timbers. The building looks great both inside and out! Shelley Jepson Jepson & Associates
  • I toured the interior of the building, the work is amazing. well done.
  • The mechanical systems that were designed into the building were innovative.
  • Very unique building by design
  • Beautiful Structure. Was a pleasure to work there.
  • This is an awesome building! Anyone who can should check this out!
  • Great Wood work on this project.
  • beautiful building, great job!!

UW Montlake Tower addition
$210 million, 273,000-square-foot addition to the Montlake Tower; largest addition to UW's medical center in decades

Owner: University of Washington
Architect: NBBJ
General contractor: Skanska


  • An amazing collaboration between design and construction teams.
  • This is a great addition. They are all beautiful.
  • Beautiful building and a necessity
  • I think this project greatly enhanced the overall appearance of that area.
  • The most intricate placement of a building addition over a bustling hospital loading dock. Very keen and senstive addition.
  • A very challenging in-fill project.
  • beautiful addition to a beautiful facility
  • great design in context of the site.
  • Wonderful integration with the existing facility, yet distinctive!
  • Beautiful building, blends well with the area/surroundings.
  • love this building, love this school.

Museum of History & Industry
54,000-square-foot renovation of a historic armory building into a museum

Owner: Museum of History & Industry
Architect: LMN Architects
General contractor: Sellen Construction


  • These are all outstanding projects, but the extent and significance of the contribution that MOHAI's renovated building makes to the entire Seattle and regional community sets it apart.
  • This building has been delightfully transformed from surplus to surprisingly wonderful. It's important to look beyond the beautifully restored exterior. Although the facade now glows warmly night and day in the midst of Lake Union Park, it is the energy, color, and engaging style of the interior exhibit spaces which deserve an award. This building works with grace and power to teach us our history and give us all a bright new place to meet and learn from each other..... Bravo MOHAI!
  • Just visited MOHAI and the remodeled building space is spectacular!
  • A huge benefit for the Community.
  • Awesome space and a great addition to the South Lake Union community!
  • This building was recently certified LEED Platinum - one of only a handful of museums in the country to receive that designation.
  • MOHAI is gorgeous and will change the flavor of the SLU area! Yay MOHAI and all those who helped build it!
  • Great reuse of space in Seattle! Well done.
  • They win for using an existing building and revitalizing a neighborhood.
  • We can now Celebrate Seattle in this glorious new space!
  • I really like the way this building was renovated and re-purposed while keeping the maritime feel of the exterior space.
  • Excellant Renovation of an existing Landmark.
  • What was old becomes new again...the best kind of recycling.
  • Sellen Construction, working with MOHAI, has turned an existing historic building into a gem of a nationally recognized regional museum of spectacular quality.
  • Took an existing facility and redid it to preserve our history and culture.
  • what a sweet building, way to go sellen. KR
  • it's lovely. in this building MOHAI seems to have gone from a one-dimensional to a three-dimensional experience.
  • The exhibit " Celluloid Seattle" is particularly enjoyable
  • Its a Great building, Sellen is the Best Company.
  • for the quality of the renovation and the city-wide cultural and civic impact of the project.

Chihuly Garden and Glass
Art by Dale Chihuly; 12,208-square-foot pavilion with gallery spaces, a cafe, a 50-seat theater, lobby and bookstore.

Owner: Center Art LLC
Architect: Owen Richards Architects
General contractor: Schuchart Corp.


  • Entirely Beautiful, Inside & Out! :)
  • Chihuly Gardens is amazing
  • Gorgeous and full of light!
  • this is a magnificent and beautiful place that showcases not only a local talent, Dale Chihuly, but also our most famous icon, the Space Needle.
  • Very happy to have the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum in Seattle, I also like the LeMay building.
  • The most inspirational art work ever - I long to own one!
  • This is a spectacular place to visit. It is like taking you into a wonderland.
  • This is incredible show enriching to any visitor
  • I'm trying to quit smoking so that I might purchase a Chihuly piece with the money I save. Until then, I will be content to just look at the pictures. I have seen two of his exhibitions and words cannot describe their beauty.
  • Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful and how novel to included a decorative upscale restaurant.
  • This exhibit is breathtaking. We toured the area for several hours.
  • Unique, anywhere in the world!
  • This look like a great project in a difficult location.
  • Modern, futuristic, full of color, Love ... Love ... so much !!!
  • Amazingly beautiful building
  • Wow Wow Wow Creation starts within the dreamers'dream. Wow Wow Wow
  • Chihuly Garden and Glass is beautiful and has refreshed Seattle Center!!
  • This is a great addition to Seattle!
  • Love circles and arches. Can't help it.

LeMay - America's Car Museum
165,000-square-foot museum that can house up to 500 cars; 15 galleries, a theater, cafe, banquet hall, gift store and meeting rooms

Owner: LeMay - America's Car Museum
Architect: Grant Price Architects
General contractor: JTM Construction


  • Nothing fancy - Low cost, simple building, yet creates another icon for the City of Tacoma.
  • Definitely the most interesting building to be erected in a long long time.
  • This building is beautiful!
  • PSF did excellent work on the LeMay Care Museum's ventilation design. What a great Father's Day venue!
  • Wonderful job on keeping the cost down. It is both attractive and comfortable.
  • If these are the choices it's not even close. This building breaks ground for the PNW. A rigorous but unconventional form, a beautiful STRUCTURE and a great addition to a blighted site & neighborhood. All the others are just normal, if high quality, "buildings"... or remodels. Except the glass museum which is a direct knock-off of an earlier design by another firm.

Consolidated Rental Car Facility
Five-level facility with 2.1 million square feet of space for rental car operations; can hold 5,400 vehicles

Owner: Port of Seattle
Architect: Callison; Walker Parking Consultants (prime design consultant)
General contractor: Turner Construction


  • Incredible sustainable project
  • The picture does not do this beautiful building justice!
  • This project was a great accomplishment for all involved and helped to clean up the roads surrounding the airport and other areas in close proximity by consolidating all of the major rental car operators.