Mackenzie Hall demolition begins, making way for Founders Hall

Mackenzie Hall’s long service to the University of Washington Foster School of Business has come to an end. Not with the bang of, say, the Kingdome. But with much more than a whimper.

Crews from Hoffman Construction have begun the more incremental dismantling of the former home to Foster faculty, administrators and centers. But it’s still fascinating to witness a colossal excavator or backhoe dismantling steel and concrete walls like a brachiosaurus or diplodocus tearing into Jurassic flora.

Call it the Mackenzie Munch.

In a matter of six weeks, the old building, opened in 1960 and named after influential faculty leader Donald Mackenzie, will be history.

Founders Hall from Denny Yard.

In its place will rise Founders Hall, a genuine showpiece on the University of Washington campus.

The new facility’s estimated project costs of $75 million are being funded entirely by private gifts from a consortium of leadership donors—the “founders” of Founders Hall.

View from PACCAR Hall.

The 85,000 square-foot building will house classrooms, student team rooms and much-needed space for student programs, career services and experiential learning centers.

It will be one of the greenest buildings on campus, designed to achieve a 79 percent reduction in energy consumption over the first 60 years of its life.

View north to neighboring PACCAR and Dempsey Halls.

Founders Hall also will be the first building at the UW—and one of the first in the state—to be constructed of cross-laminated timber (CLT). CLT is a state-of-the-art engineered wood with the structural strength, rigidity, stability and durability to replace steel and concrete. And it offers significant environmental advantages. It is sourced from sustainably managed forests, its manufacturing leaves a comparably minimal carbon footprint and it continues to carbon sequester even after construction.

Plus, CLT is beautiful to behold. This engineered wood, with precision shaping, will be visible in all aspects of the five-story structure.

Here are a few sneak peeks of what it will look like inside Founders Hall:

Central stairway.

Team rooms.

Founders Commons.

The construction of Founders Hall is a partnership of the UW, the Foster School, LMN Architects and Hoffman Construction. It is expected to open in early 2022.