Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Mackey Mitchell Architects have designed Hillman Hall,
an expansion of Washington University’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work
located in St. Louis, Missouri.
Brown Hall was built in 1937 to house Washington University’s George Warren Brown
School of Social Work. In 1998, the school’s space doubled with the addition of Alvin
Goldfarb Hall to the south. Recently, Washington University asked Moore Ruble Yudell
and Mackey Mitchell Architects to design a new addition, the 106,000-square-foot
Hillman Hall, which doubles the school’s footprint. The four-story Hillman Hall provides
academic, faculty office, research, and public event space for the growing social work
program. The project also includes renovation of existing space within Brown Hall and
The design of Hillman Hall reflects the strong Collegiate Gothic architectural character of
the Washington University campus. The new building creates a harmonious relationship
with the 1937 Brown Hall and more recent Goldfarb Hall. The expansion respects Brown
Hall’s primary tower elevation by setting back the building to create a new courtyard
amphitheater. A new portal connects Hillman Hall with Goldfarb Hall and provides a
welcoming entrance to the campus from Forsythe Boulevard.
The Maxine Clark and Bob Fox Forum inside Hillman Hall provides space for events
such as conferences, lectures, and town hall meetings and creates a strong visual
connection to Goldfarb and Brown halls. The Forum’s focal point is a beautiful
woodwork ceiling illuminated with 1,900 linear feet of linear LED luminaires.
The project’s designers worked with engineer BuroHappold to devise a lighting solution
that would help make the forum the welcoming heart of the complex. The team
constructed a full-scale mock-up to study the visual impact of numerous obstructions
above the structure and to understand the photometry of the custom pendant hanging
below the oculus.
The team initially considered illuminating the ceiling with fixtures below the ceiling,
supplemented with perimeter lighting, but instead chose Feelux Lighting’s FLX Stix HDV
LED fixtures. The compactness, high output, and ease of installation of these fixtures
would enable the design team to embed them within the wood ceiling structure itself.
The wood structure was prefabricated off site and hung in place. Next, electrical
contractors installed the lights in channels that were created in the birch veneer
fabrication, then connected each luminaire with a variety of HDV connectors and
accessories. The fixtures’ magnetic backing and flexible connectors made installation
easy, while their dimming capability allowed the team to give the sloped ceiling surface
a uniform glow. The lighting design team included 25 layers of lighting throughout the
forum, with 17 of those layers in the ceiling.
The building design emphasizes health and wellness, diversity, energy efficiency, and
environmental sustainability. Hillman Hall has received LEED Platinum certification from
the U.S. Green Building Council.
Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Mackey Mitchell Architects have designed Hillman Hall,an expansion of Washington University’s George Warren Brown School of Social Worklocated in St. Louis, Missouri.Brown Hall was built in 1937 to house Washington University’s George Warren BrownSchool of Social Work. In 1998, the school’s space doubled with the addition of AlvinGoldfarb Hall to the south. Recently, Washington University asked Moore Ruble Yudelland Mackey Mitchell Architects...
- Year 2015
- Work finished in 2015
- Client Washington University in St Louis
- Contractor Alberici Constructions, Ltd
- Status Completed works
- Type Colleges & Universities