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Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center 

university of washington

The University of Washington’s Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center, originally built in 1970, was one of the first such student centers in the United States. Ben McAdoo, the first African American architect to be licensed in Washington state, designed the original 8,000 sf building to serve four UW student groups. The popularity of the facility led to the outgrowing of its space, and today more than 60 student groups use the center for crafts, performances, cooking, meetings and informal gatherings.

Rolluda Architects worked with stakeholders for the programming and design of this new, 26,000 sf facility to replace the existing building. The new building provides office and work space for students and groups, a computer lab, conference rooms, formal and informal gathering spaces, and performance practice space.

RAI's team designed the 3-story center with an open atrium, welcoming gathering spaces, a mix of private and open offices, and a variety of conference, meeting and practice areas, including kitchen facilities.

The building is designed for sustainability, with a focus on natural light and ventilation, and resource- and energy-efficient mechanical and electrical systems. The project achieved the LEED Gold goal.


Type: Higher Ed + Community / Cultural           Client: University of Washington

Location: Seattle, WA                                        Project Lead: Alex Rolluda

News / Press:
UW ECC: Coming Home

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