Warren G. Magnuson Health Sciences Building

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Coordinates: 47°39′07″N 122°18′45″W / 47.652011°N 122.31239°W / 47.652011; -122.31239

J and K Wings viewed from the green roof of the Foege Building loading dock

The Warren G. Magnuson Health Sciences Building is part of the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington and the world's largest single university building with a total floor area of 533,000 square metres (5,740,000 sq ft).[1] Although the building is made up of over 20 wings built over more than 50 years, the interior hallways are fully connected. The Magnuson Health Sciences Building is also referred to as the Health Sciences Center or Health Sciences Complex, but should not be confused with the Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland which is also named for United States Senator Warren Magnuson.[2]


Wings denoted by double letters (AA, BB, NN, SP, etc.) house a teaching hospital, the University of Washington Medical Center. Wings denoted with a single letter (A, B, T, etc.) house a variety of health-related academic disciplines including the University of Washington School of Dentistry, the University of Washington School of Medicine, the University of Washington School of Pharmacy, and the University of Washington School of Public Health. The building has everything from administration offices to wet laboratories to lecture halls.


Construction of the original Health Sciences Building began in 1947 on what had been the University Golf Links south of Pacific Street along Portage Bay.[3] It had 8 wings denoted A through G featuring sculptures by Dudley Pratt and was designed by architecture firm Naramore, Bain, Brady, Johanson, McCellan & Jones (later NBBJ).[4] A commemorative plaque inside the original C-Wing lobby notes that it had "about 3,000,000 square feet of space." However, the original architectural design is largely obscured by later additions, particularly the brutalist T-Wing along Pacific St.

The largest single addition to the building was the University Hospital in 1959 (previously Harborview Medical Center had been the only teaching hospital for the University of Washington School of Medicine).[5] The tallest wing in the complex is the 17-story Aagaard Tower (BB-Wing).[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New #1 on Top 10 largest buildings in the world opens today.". Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  2. ^ "Marrying medical research and patient care.". Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  3. ^ "University of Washington opens its medical school on October 2, 1946.". Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  4. ^ "HISTORY OF THE UW BUILDINGS" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  5. ^ Elizabeth Lowry (2008-05-22). "On the job with UWMC Operations & Maintenance". University Week. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  6. ^ "BB Tower becomes the Aagaard Tower". University Week. 1998-12-10. Retrieved 2009-04-08.