Washington University in St. Louis
George Warren Brown School of Social Work
St. Louis, MO

110,312 SF • 10,248 SQ M • LEED PLATINUM (TARGET)

The Brown School, one of the leading graduate schools for the advancement of health and human services is known for its ground-breaking research and focus on evidence-based practice. In 2006, the School embarked on a Vision Study for improving its facilities and environment. The study envisioned a new building to enable the future growth of the School. In 2008, the Brown School published Impact 2020 which set the strategic course for the School over the next decade. Its initiatives provide the programmatic underpinning of the Concept Study which Davis Brody Bond recently completed.

The Concept Study identified a total of 110,312 sf to meet the continued growth of the Brown School, the establishment of the Policy Forum, and the presence of the Institute for Public Health. The firm’s work involved specific concept planning for the three programmatic components of the new building. For the Brown School, concepts for the research centers, a communications / media studio, and a data and evaluation center were developed; as well as new diagrams for teaching in seminar, flexible, and case study settings. The multiple potential configurations of the Policy Forum were explored in plan and section. Finally, a new model for transdisciplinary research was developed for the Institute for Public Health.

Broad conceptual planning established an understanding of the campus framework and the precedents from which the concepts are derived. Six themed concepts were developed in diagram and model to establish a dialogue for the continued conceptual exploration. Following the alignment of the program, Davis Brody Bond developed a comprehensive program concept to test in plan, section and sectional model. This Concept Study document concludes with a timeline for expedient development, design and construction and a strategy for achieving a Platinum LEED rating.