Under Threat: The Nuclear Reactor Building at the University of Washington in Seattle
by The Architect Artist Group, Seattle, Washington, USA, 1961
"The Nuclear Reactor Building is an exceptional example of Brutalist design from the Mid-century Modern era and the ideals that drove the Modern movement. Designed by renowned architects of the time, the buildings design promotes technology and rejects the conventional academic architecture surrounding it. It is a completely unique structure, and represents a specific time and way of thinking in the history of the University, and the overarching history of nuclear power. Even after standing empty for many years, the structure still speaks of the heroic aspirations of Modern architecture and its association with technological development and moving ever forward into the future. [...]
The Nuclear Reactor Building was unable to escape the downfall of nuclear power. A combination of negative attitudes and a lack of demand for nuclear engineers led to a decline in enrollment in the Nuclear Engineering Program. Research in the Nuclear Reactor Building was limited throughout the 1980´s, and eventually the reactor was decommissioned in 1988. The Nuclear Engineering Program was closed in 1992. Since that time the building has stood vacant. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, raised concerns about the security of the building and although it was only a remote possibility, the university worried that the buildings name would attract someone in search of nuclear material and changed its name to More Hall Annex.
The Nuclear Reactor Buildings more recent history (from 2008 to the present) has been about the University of Washingtons plans to redevelop the site and community advocates efforts to save the structure and promote its adaptive reuse and meaningful preservation. [...]"
More details: website.
[by Docomomo US]