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Design proposals for UW's new Global Innovation Exchange, or GIX.
Design proposals for UW’s new Global Innovation Exchange, or GIX.

The Global Innovation Exchange has submitted designs for its new facility in Bellevue, Wash., where students from around the world will learn about technology and entrepreneurship in a groundbreaking partnership between Seattle’s University of Washington and China’s Tsinghua University.

The collaboration, which represents the first time a Chinese university will establish a physical presence in the U.S., will welcome its first cohort of students in fall of 2016. The Bellevue facility won’t be ready until 2017, so students will study in China for the first year.

A rendering of the interior of the planned GIX building in Bellevue, Wash.
A rendering of the interior of the planned GIX building in Bellevue, Wash.

The facility is housed inside the new mixed use Spring District development in Bellevue. It contains 86,000 square feet of office space, 3,400 square feet of retail space and 5,500 square feet of deck space, according to a design proposal submitted to the city on Thursday. The Puget Sound Business Journal’s Marc Stiles first uncovered the filing.

The three-story building features an unusual “folded roof” and “vertical expanses of glass to evoke an urban character reminiscent of more vernacular warehouse structures.”

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 10.04.23 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-04 at 10.03.57 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-04 at 10.03.28 AMConstruction will begin in spring of 2016, according to the proposal.

Students at the Global Innovation Exchange, or GIX, will be taught by teachers from both UW and Tsinghua University and will end up with a master’s degree from each institution. The classes aim to break the mold for traditional technology education and train students in entrepreneurship, innovation and user interfaces for connected devices.

GIX was launched earlier this year with initial help from Microsoft in the form of a $40 million donation.


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