This studio focused on the creative adaptive reuse of one of the UW campus’s most iconic- yet unknownbuildings – the ASUW Shell House. Highlighted in the award winning book (and soon to be feature film), The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics, the ASUW Shell House was first built in 1918 by the U.S. Navy during World War I on a site that was an important location for indigenous tribes, especially for local waterway connections across Lake Washington. This was a time when the UW campus was activated as a military zone and the building was to be used as a seaplane hangar, yet it was never used and was transformed into the home for UW crew from 1918-1974. It also was the location of the shell-building shop of world-class designers and builder George Yeoman Pocock, who was recruited to build racing shells for the team in 1912 before the war. For the next half century, nearly every collegiate and sport rowing program in America used wooden shells and oars built by Pocock that were constructed out of his shop in the UW Shell House.
ASUW Shell House renovation is currently in the beginning phase of fundraising and schematic design, therefore students have been working on imagining the site for uses by all communities; public use, student spaces, historic exhibits and landscape connections to the water and campus. As the first Seattle Landmark on the UW Campus, we will also explore these implications, yet will investigate all creative pathways to design a vibrant, connected, functional, building that will connect its rich history to the future of the UW Campus.