Architect of Center for Health Sciences Wins National Award

December 17, 2009

Peter Bohlin, designer of the new Center for Health Sciences at University of Puget Sound, has been awarded the top honor conferred annually by the American Institute of Architects. The Pennsylvania-based architect and founder of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson was awarded the 2010 AIA Gold Medal on Dec. 3. The prize recognizes architects whose body of work is deemed to have had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture.

“I’m so pleased and I’m surprised,” Bohlin was quoted as saying on the AIA Web site after he learned of the award. “We all believe in architecture. It is our life to a great extent. Like athletes, we all know that it’s hard work to make it look easy, and we’re all constantly striving to do that.”

Bohlin is known for his versatile use of materials that reflect the rural or urban setting of a structure. His designs often incorporate glass or transparency to give sweeping views of the outdoors and to fill the interior with natural light. Examples of his work include Seattle City Hall, Ledge House in Maryland’s Blue Ridge Mountains, the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in New York, and Pocono Environmental Education Center in Dingmans Ferry, Pa.

Bohlin, assisted by his Seattle office, designed the Center for Health Sciences at Puget Sound as a pivotal piece of the college’s new master plan. The 42,000-square-foot building at the south end of campus will house diverse study and work spaces, while meeting the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Standards. It will be home to the undergraduate departments of exercise science and psychology; graduate programs in the School of Occupational Therapy and School of Physical Therapy; and the interdisciplinary program in neuroscience.

The Puget Sound project presented Bohlin with the challenge of meeting the needs of four programs of study within one building. The center will incorporate an occupational therapy clinic open to the public; state-of-the-art clinical spaces for sports physical therapy, oncology, physical therapy, and neurorehabilitation; a motion analysis laboratory; animal learning laboratories; and a psychology research suite. It also will include classrooms, computer labs, and faculty offices. The building’s design echoes the campus’s Tudor-Gothic architecture with simple gable roof forms, projecting bay windows, and materials such as brick, stone, and terra cotta. Groundbreaking for the Center for Health Sciences is anticipated in spring 2010, with a grand opening in fall 2011.

 A press-quality image of the architectural rendering of the Center for Health Sciences is available at:

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