University of Washington Medicine Building – South Lake Union Campus University of Washington Medicine Building – South Lake Union Campus / Seattle, Washington, USA

University of Washington Medicine Building – South Lake Union Campus

"We chose Cambridge mesh because, through energy analysis, we were able to prove that the metal fabric panels reduced the solar heat gain into the building on the west and south facades, lowering our cooling loads to the building."
- Andrew Clinch, Architect, Perkins+Will
  • Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
  • Year Completed: 2008
  • End Use: Academic
  • Architect: Perkins+Will – Seattle, WA
  • General Contractor: Benson Industries – Portland, OR
  • Owner: University of Washington


Cambridge's architectural mesh system innovatively shields the windows of the biomedical research facility on the University of Washington's South Lake Union campus. The resulting aesthetic is unique and modern – vertical strips of metal fabric are held in tension over the building's windows, creating multiple columns of striking mesh that add depth and character to the facade.

Inside the UW Medicine building, the goal is to develop new and innovative ideas. Outside, Cambridge's mesh system provides a perfect visual complement to that goal by dressing the facility in a first-of-its-kind architectural component.


Mesh panels align with the UW Medicine building's windows, dramatically reducing solar heat gain on the west and south facades – cutting cooling costs for the facility. The system also provides transparency, making daylight available inside and allowing people to see outside. The inherent nature of mesh allows it to shade the sun without blocking the view through the windows.


The UW Medicine Building team took advantage of Cambridge's unique system design, utilizing long spans of mesh to ensure limited protrusions through the building's curtain wall. This system allowed the mesh shading application to easily integrate with the building exterior. Additionally, the reduction in solar heat gain that the system offers has greatly reduced the facility's cooling costs. The shading properties of architectural mesh make running a building more affordable.

Cambridge's system has contributed to substantial energy savings through solar shading and managed daylight in the UW Medicine building, thus contributing to the attainment of LEED® certification. Additionally, mesh is a readily recyclable material, it can be mounted to existing building structures with minimal support, can provide airflow into a building while shading, and has a virtually maintenance-free and indestructible lifecycle. Cambridge Architectural is an active member of the USGBC®, and helps architects take maximum advantage of LEED credit through the many categories in which architectural mesh systems apply.

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