Hillman Hall More Than Doubles Brown School’s Teaching, Research and Program Space

Community Engagement; Faculty; Public Health; Social Work

Thomas and Jennifer Hillman Hall, the newest academic building on the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis and the third facility for the Brown School, was dedicated during a ceremony Oct. 2.

At approximately 105,000 square feet, Hillman Hall more than doubles the school’s teaching, research and program space. Targeted for LEED Platinum certification, the building design emphasizes health and wellness, diversity, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.

The building’s focal point is the visually stunning Maxine Clark and Bob Fox Forum, featuring a beautiful woodwork ceiling and a glass facade that provides a welcoming and open space and creates for the Brown School a strong visual connection between Hillman and existing Goldfarb and Brown halls.

The Clark-Fox Forum is a premier event space that offers opportunities for conferences, lectures and town hall meetings. Many such events will be hosted by the Maxine Clark and Bob Fox Policy Institute, which works to ensure that the pathbreaking research being conducted by Brown School faculty is translated into effective policy and practice. The Clark-Fox Policy Institute will provide opportunities for students and engaged citizens to enhance their policy skills, as well as disseminate policy research, ideas and analysis to a broader audience.

Hillman Hall is made possible by a generous gift from Tom Hillman and his wife, Jennifer Miller Hillman.

“The Hillmans’ extraordinary generosity and engagement will have a profound impact on the Brown School’s teaching and research, and will help its faculty, students and staff provide new and innovative ways to address critical social and public health challenges,” said Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “Jennifer and Tom inspire and energize our community in meaningful and remarkable ways.”

“We are so grateful to Jennifer and Tom for their continued support and leadership,” said Edward F. Lawlor, PhD, dean of the Brown School and the William E. Gordon Distinguished Professor.

“Hillman Hall provides the Brown School with an innovative platform for our students to learn, grow and expand their knowledge, while providing our faculty the room to collaborate and further their research,” Lawlor said. “I am also thankful to Maxine and Bob for their vision and generous foresight. The forum will enhance the Brown School’s ability to engage with our many community partners and to stimulate dialogue among social work, public health and policy experts.”

The university’s Institute for Public Health will expand to include a second location in Hillman Hall, providing a presence on the Danforth Campus, as well as in its current location at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“Our mission has always been to harness the strengths of the entire university to address the complex health issues and health disparities facing the St. Louis region and the world,” said William G. Powderly, MD, the J. William Campbell Professor of Medicine, co-director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the School of Medicine and director of the Institute for Public Health.

“It’s exciting to expand our reach to include a physical location on the Danforth Campus, which will better enable us to connect to faculty, staff, students and the broader community working to solve public health challenges,” Powderly said.

In addition to its sustainability features, Hillman Hall was designed with health in mind. The building includes easy access to stairways, abundant natural light, indoor plantings, collaboration spaces, standing desks and walking paths.

Amy Eyler, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School, is conducting a yearlong academic study aimed at quantifying the impact of the building’s many innovative features on the well-being of the people who work in it.

For more information on Hillman Hall as a healthy building, click here.

Additional features of Hillman Hall include:

  • More than 20,000 square feet of space for research centers and programs.
  • Seven new, highly flexible classrooms, creating a total of 17 among the three Brown School buildings to accommodate a recent increase of 40 percent in the student population. The building also includes two new, state of the art pooled classrooms for the university’s use.
  • Flexible furnishings and technology are zoned to create areas of collaboration or quiet reflection. Rooms are designed to serve multiple purposes, anticipate changing teaching styles and tools, and maintain a longer functional life.
  • More than 10,000 square feet of space designed to promote faculty, staff, and student interaction and collaboration. Multiuse spaces such as the Forum and Nussbaum Plaza will serve as gathering spaces that foster impromptu collaboration among students, faculty, staff and the community.
  • The Grounds for Change café located near the forum, offering a variety of locally-sourced healthy and ethnic foods.

The architect of record for the project is Moore Ruble Yudell of Santa Monica, California. Design partners include local associate firm, Mackey Mitchell Architects; mechanical engineering and sustainability planning by Buro Happold; landscape architecture by Andropogon; audio-visual and lighting design planning by Sextant; cost estimation by Davis Langdon; structural engineering by KPFF; civil engineering by Cole; and construction services by Alberici.