It’s been about a year since we’ve posted an update about our project at 11th and East Pine Street in Capitol Hill. Sunset Electric – named after the original 1926 structure which once housed an auto electrical supply showroom (and later a sporting goods store and an auto spray shop) – is roughly two-thirds through construction.
Demolition (see our previous post about the project) took us through February of this year, and the laborious process of reinforcing the existing historic structure spanned about four months. Now, five new levels are rising above the existing Sunset Electric facade.
We had an Owner/Architect/Contractor (OAC) coordination meeting a while back and took the opportunity to snap a few photos to share an update. The project includes a variety of interesting techniques and methods that you don’t see every day, so it’s a great example of the extra effort and coordination required for a project of this type.
And now, may the virtual tour begin: Continue reading
Planners, Architects, and Developers came together yesterday in Bellevue to hear WT Senior Associate, Mindy Black, present at the Washington APA conference. The session was a panel presentation about the South Kirkland Transit Oriented Development and included three other speakers: Gary Prince, King County Metro TOD Manager; Janice Coogan, Senior Planner with the City of Kirkland; and Paul Inghram, Comprehensive Planning Manager for the City of Bellevue.
The project was selected as a case study because the site is split between Bellevue and Kirkland, making it an especially tricky project that resonated with the conference theme of Wicked Problems Smart Solutions. Development of the site involved coordination between multiple stakeholders – the Federal Transportation Agency, King County, the cities of Kirkland and Bellevue, the community of Houghton, a master developer and an affordable housing developer – and conflicting zoning codes that posed a number of challenges. The project is not just a park and ride expansion, but is a revitalization of the neighborhood bringing retail, market-rate housing, and low-income housing.
In addition to being a conference session topic the South Kirkland Transit Oriented Development has been co-awarded ‘Best Implementation’ in the 2013 PAW/APA Planning Awards. The other co-winner in the category is the City of Redmond for their “Digital Plan and Development Suite.”
Learn more about the project on our website, or view the slideshow from yesterday’s presentation.
As soon as the PARK(ing) Day crew awoke to a dazzling, pink sky on Friday morning, it was clear that the day’s activities would include at least a modicum of success. If nothing else, there would be very little, if any, muddy sod to peel off the street.
The installation team started arriving at 7am, coffee and doughnuts awaiting, to begin rolling out the layer of visqueen that contained the park and made for speedy clean up. The putt-putt course had been prepared earlier in the week by Chris Golden, so it was quick and easy to lay the pieces in place. Once the course was set, fresh sod was unrolled and cut to fit, with wood chips filling in the gaps. The car tops went in next, which when covered with sod required the muscles of six people to carry out of the parking garage, across the street, and onto the course. A few minor angle tweaks, a little AstroTurf here and there, some cardboard ‘bumpers’ painted green, and our course was starting to look pretty legitimate.
Briar Bates showed up with her moss- and plant-covered furniture and spare plants at 8am, about the same time that the King5 news camera rolled in to start filming the installation. Once the furniture was placed, last minute touches such as trimming turf, adding bumpers, and fine-tuning the course was underway. Continue reading
Posted in Advocacy, Community Involvement, Events, Life at WT, Sustainability in the Community
Tagged Community Involvement, Design, open spaces, Parking Day, Seaparkingday, Seattle, SLU
This Friday, Weber Thompson is joining artists, activists and citizens around the globe to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into a public park as part of the annual “PARK(ing) Day.” We’ll be posting updates throughout the day on our Facebook page, including details about the preparation, installation, and dismantling of the park.
When we first started brainstorming several months ago, we started with the concepts behind PARK(ing) Day. We started a dialogue about transportation. We discussed design and art and the ability to use this event as a way to make a statement about our car-based culture. That led us to try to visualize what would actually happen if nature grew over the cars that were parked in the spaces, literally engulfing them in greenery.
And then we found this inspiration photo when we Googled ‘cars covered with plants’:
It seemed ambitious, sure, but we all thought it would be pretty neat. After realizing that our plan would be difficult to achieve without the help of a few key staff members (namely, those with trucks, garages, and relatives who own lumber yards), we realized our park should also include golf, a favorite pastime of staff member Chris Golden, and he immediately joined the team.
Thus, our ‘Carmageddon Putt-Putt Golf Course’ temporary park was born. Continue reading
Constantly innovating, TalkingRain Beverage Company struck gold when they took one of their product lines, Sparkling ICE, to the national level in 2010. Until then, this Northwest company had been operating out of traditional offices which were enlarged as the company grew, but lacked a clear design vision. In 2012, they decided it was time to upgrade their digs, and Weber Thompson’s Interior Design team was called in for the job.
Carefully considering the location of each interior element during the design process, our team introduced some innovative space planning tactics. Formerly located in a temporary mobile unit, the new research and development office is now housed in a gleaming glass pod that’s on display but still fully functional. The board room is adjacent to the lab and has sliding barn doors, allowing meetings to happen in privacy without the feeling of being “behind closed doors.” The office has a sense of open airiness, while also being sensitive to the proprietary needs of this R&D-based company.
Responding to TalkingRain’s culture of collaboration, our designers located communal layout tables and breakout meeting rooms centrally to encourage impromptu meetings among staff; since moving in, these have been in use almost every hour of the day. The board room includes a custom table with pop-up technology towers that provide telephone, power, and internet connections, and surrounding walls are available for brainstorming, sketching or pin-ups with their white boards, glass walls, and tackable surfaces. The room also features a touch-screen monitor with video and audio conferencing capabilities, giving staff the ability to connect, design, and innovate in any medium they wish.
For more information on this project, visit our website.
Allegro at Columbia City, designed by Weber Thompson.
On Wednesday, October 9th, Weber Thompson Principal Jeff Reibman will participate in a panel discussion of best practices and lessons learned for affordable housing construction during ‘Biggest Bang for your Buck: Round 3′ at the Housing Washington 2013 conference in Spokane. For the last 18 years he’s worked in the Seattle area on residential design of all kinds, with an emphasis on larger scale condominiums, apartments, and senior housing projects. The focus of his session will be on cost effective solutions for horizontal waterproofing including roofing, decks and plaza construction. It will include product information, design tips, installation best practices, and long-term maintenance considerations. Recommendations will be provided to help guide decision making from the perspective of cost, long-term durability, ease of maintenance and sustainability.
Housing Washington is a nationally recognized annual conference on affordable housing—a dynamic forum for learning, discussion, networking and collaboration. This two-day event features a lively sponsor showcase, top-notch speakers, special events, and an awards ceremony. To learn more and register for the conference, visit about the Housing Washington 2013 website.
Seattle Architecture Foundation’s 16th Annual Exhibit, WORLD CITY explores the global cross pollination of design, international projects, the built environment’s role in world-wide environmental stewardship, and design’s role in promoting well-being in increasingly dense and diverse urban centers. The exhibit opens on September 19th, and Weber Thompson is honored to once again be a participant in this great exhibit.
Get a sneak peak at the exhibit before it opens to the public by attending the preview reception on September 19th. It’s a great chance to mingle with industry leadership and meet the designers and architects behind the models. More information can be found on the Seattle Architecture Foundation website.
Weber Thompson’s Entry
Delving deeper into the urban agriculture research from the past several years, our designers are looking to current projects to explore the blurred boundaries between urban and rural, and have been re-envisioning wasted rooftop surfaces and traditional amenity spaces to include greenhouses and green roofs. Consequently, our submission to this year’s SAF Model Exhibit is an urban farm project that our Innovation & Research studio has been working on recently. Pike Motorworks is a mixed-use building being developed by The Wolff Company on Capitol Hill, and serves as an ideal platform for this conceptual research. Continue reading
Last Thursday, Weber Thompson staff, our clients, consultants, partners and friends and family boogied down in The Terry Thomas courtyard. An estimated 300 people attended our Open House-style party, and judging by the fact that we had to make a beer run part-way through the event, we’d say it was a success!
The food that Tom Douglas provided was excellent, the bartenders from The Invisible Hostess mixed up three signature cocktails which included The Architect (a Negroni), The Landscape Architect (an elderflower margarita) and The Interior Designer (a French 75). The DJ kept grooving until after well after 10pm and it sure seemed like the folks on the dance floor didn’t mind a bit!
Many, many thanks to those of you who have helped make our business so successful for the past 25 years. We were thrilled to celebrate and raise our glasses with you, and here’s hoping for another 25 years!
View the photo gallery on Facebook.
Have any photos from the event that you’d like to share? Post them on Facebook and tag us by typing @Weber Thompson.
On May 6th, 2013 the Seattle City Council unanimously passed the South Lake Union Rezone, a package of land use changes that increase the development capacity of the neighborhood to accommodate projected future housing demands and job growth.
Many parcels in South Lake Union will see their zoning designations change, generally favoring greater density and mixed use development as compared to the previous zoning. The legislation also creates new development requirements specific to the South Lake Union Urban Center which modify the new underlying zones in some important ways.
Arguably the most significant change provided by the rezone is the introduction of an incentives program that allows increases in floor area ratio (FAR) and height in return for investment in affordable housing, green building certification, and development of both energy & transportation programs. Continue reading