WSU’s New Engineering Building Wins Masonry Award

PULLMAN, Wash. — The Engineering Teaching and Learning Laboratory facility on the Washington State University campus recently won an Honor Award for Excellence in Masonry Design by the Northwest Chapter of the Masonry Institute.
The four-story $27 million facility, which opened this year, has “carefully detailed masonry at both exteriors and interiors. The selection of brick color, along with its detailed use, enabled this project to fit in with the surrounding campus. A traditional design set in modern times,” according to jurors. They were Fred Bassetti, Bassetti Architects; David Miller, Miller Hull Partnership; Mitch Smith, Mulvanny Partnership; Scott Stemper, S.M. Stemper Architects; Steve Hubbard, Mutual Materials Inc.; and Fred Galassi, Barkshire Panel Systems Inc.
“The new building is another example of the appropriate use of masonry that will look even better years from now. The detailings are refined and sophisticated. Given the very difficult sloping site on the lower edge of the campus and a complex program, the architects managed to tie the building into the style of the upper main campus. It has an appropriate expression for a collegiate building and uses the brick as a primary element to carry out that expression,” the judges said.
The ETRL will now qualify and be submitted to the national level competition.
The building, which now supports as many as 100 activities in materials science, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering, took five years to plan and build. Credits go to WSU Facilities Planning, Ernie Weiss, project manager; Callison Architects, Mark Ludka and Dave Letrondo; Riley Engineers of Spokane; and Swank Enterprises/Construction of Montana.
“We tried to create a high-tech look that complemented its setting on a 20-foot change-in-elevation hillside in a very tight space,” said Letrondo.