UW More Hall Annex/Nuclear Reactor Building
Brutalism style, The Architect Artist Group (TAAG) – 1961
University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Historical & Community Significance
The More Hall Annex, formerly the Nuclear Reactor building, housed a functional nuclear research reactor. One of a handful of reactors built on college campuses to develop the study of nuclear engineering, the Brutalist building featured the style’s characteristic heavy massing, exposed concrete, and plinth base. Designed by a collective known as The Architect Artist Group (TAAG), consisting of architects Wendell Lovett, Daniel Streissguth, and Gene Zema; art professor Spencer Moseley; landscape architect Robert Chittock; and structural engineer and professor Gerard Torrence, the building was constructed in 1960-1961. The reactor was shut down in 1988 and decommissioned in 2007. After a thorough review of options and a determination that preservation presented too many challenges to overcome, the university demolished the building in July 2016 and in 2019 completed a new computer science building on the site.
The university ensured the building design was preserved in the Library of Congress for posterity by recording the building in the Historic American Building Survey (HABS). The architectural prints of the drawings and photographs had to meet the highest archival quality standards in order to be accepted by the National Park Service, who administers the survey. The HABS project records some of the most important historical buildings in the United States in thorough detail. Measured drawing for HABS generally require days of field work and must meet the highest standards of readability as outlined by the National Park Service.
- Studio TJP prepared a report for the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) in 2016 to record the details of this unique building.
- We created measured drawings of the building, prepared an extensive report on the building’s historic and architectural significance, and coordinated large-format photographs of the interior and exterior.
- The materials currently reside in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. You can read more about HABS and search the database of almost 40,000 historic sites and structures here.
Contemporary photos by Lani Doely, drawings by Studio TJP