Statement of Organization and Function

Adopted January 1, 2002; revised and endorsed by the Architectural Commission June 7, 2010; approved by the Board of Regents July 15, 2010.

The University of Washington Board of Regents established an architectural commission in December 1957 to advise the board and president on matters concerning the design, function, performance, and environmental integrity of the university’s buildings, landscapes, infrastructure, and urban amenities.

In its advisory capacity, the commission reviews and evaluates plans and projects that affect the aesthetic character and composition of the university’s three campuses.  It reviews the selection of building sites, the design of new buildings and public spaces, major additions and modifications to these elements, and campus plans; and it issues general and specific recommendations related to these elements, and to design and planning policies that ensure the aesthetic and historic integrity of the public settings of university life.  The commission assists the regents and president in the selection of architects and consultants for all projects that influence the physical and aesthetic character of its campuses, and periodically reviews the design of these projects through all phases of their development.  In addition, the commission periodically reviews and evaluates the university campus master and subsidiary plans, and advises the president on related architectural and environmental issues as they may arise, including historic conservation.

Comprehensive planning

The commission will make recommendations concerning the preparation of a comprehensive general plan for the physical and aesthetic development of the university’s campuses, including and especially design principles to guide future growth.  The commission will periodically review existing, proposed, and revised campus plans.  In its ongoing review of the progress of the campus design and planning efforts, the commission may recommend the selection of firms and consultants for specific projects, and periodically issue related recommendations for approval by the board of regents.  These recommendations shall be documented and may be revised from time to time for the purpose of providing a current guide for the design and performance of campus grounds and buildings.  In making recommendations involving campus open space, landscape design, and plantings, the commission will seek consultation of the University Landscape Advisory Committee.

Design Requirements

The commission will review the urban and architectural design, performance, and environmental consequences of all projects that influence the character and integrity of the university’s campuses including new construction; additions to existing buildings when such additions affect the exterior appearance of buildings; major interior renovations of existing significant buildings; and projects involving the development of the campus grounds, including landscaping, sculpture, monuments, memorials, and public art.

The commission will advise and assist the project designer and the university in the development of all major projects.  It will review such projects during and upon completion of feasibility study, prior to the commencement of detailed planning work, and following the commencement of the design process; it will guide the project designers, review the progress of designs, and suggest modifications and adjustments as necessary and appropriate up to the approval of a fully developed design for construction.  The commission’s recommendations will embody or set forth principles and criteria as they relate to campus plans and to the principles of campus design and such other recommendations deemed proper and important to the design of the project.  The commission may recommend approval of the design of projects, or recommend changes in the design.  Recommended changes that significantly affect the scope of work must secure the concurrence and approval of the senior vice president prior to their implementation.

Recommendations for Awarding of Design Contracts

The voting members of the commission shall make recommendations to the president and the board of regents for awarding of major design contracts for new construction and additions to existing buildings when such additions affect the exterior appearance of buildings and major planning and site studies.  Major design contracts include any contract that requires the approval of the board of regents.