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"This feels right to me": Sarkisian designed UW's new recruiting lobby, lounge

From the 1991 national-championship trophy in the lobby of the new football operations building, through the floor that contains a bronze inlay of a block W and the tradition-laden lounge upstairs overlooking new Husky Stadium, Steve Sarkisian designed the new experience for UW football recruits.

“We wanted to give that recruiting lounge a feel of home, a feel of comfort,” Sarkisian said of the area located in the center of the new, 83,000-square-foot nerve center of Husky football. “A feel of, ‘This feels right to me’ when a recruit comes into a building and on our campus.”

The downstairs lobby is connected to the main, west concourse of Husky Stadium. It has 10 screens to display videos of great moments in Husky football, plus two mannequins displaying UW’s uniforms. It is already known as the recruiting base’s new “engine room.”

The upstairs lounge, with its fireplace and prime views, is its living room.

“It has something of a living-room feel to it,” Sarkisian agreed.

The lounge is an open, center area with vaulted glass from floor to high ceiling. The gas-powered fireplace in native, Olympic peninsula wood trim is on the left wall. The lounge is between Sarkisian’s and athletic director Scott Woodward’s offices, offering a picturesque view of the field and Lake Washington to the east.

The wall opposite that view is filled with a montage of Husky football players shown in the classroom and in the community. On that wall, Sarkisian sought to represent what he calls the pillars of his program: athletics, academics and life.

“Those are the three pillars of life that our kids deal with while there are at the University of Washington,” Sarkisian said. “Those three things are so intertwined in our program.

“We also wanted to make sure we respected the rich and great tradition that this university has.”

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