How do you raise $1.1 million to fight homelessness in a single night?

Photo credit: HRV Media

Believe it or not, with the Swing Dance, the Lindy Hop, and a little bit of Tango… On the evening March 10th, Plymouth Housing Group held their ninth annual Seattle Dances!—a glitzy fundraiser that packed Fremont Studios with a sold-out crowd of over 600 guests and exceeded their one million dollar goal by a sweet $100,000, setting an all-time record for the night. Continue reading “How do you raise $1.1 million to fight homelessness in a single night?”

“Rad Row House”: A Musical Celebration of Affordable Housing Week

The Weber Thompson office is full of talented, passionate individuals who care about the issues surrounding our city. Last month a few of these individuals stepped up to help us participate in the Housing Development Consortium’s (HDC) 2017 Affordable Housing Week. The week took place from May 15th-22nd and focused on the growing issue of affordability and livability in Seattle. Continue reading ““Rad Row House”: A Musical Celebration of Affordable Housing Week”

Arbora Court: A dream decades in the making begins to come true

A little over three years ago, Bellwether Housing invited Weber Thompson to partner in the design and development of a piece of land owned by University Christian Church (UCC). In collaboration with Compass Alliance Housing, Bellwether Housing has been helping the church parishioners realize a dream – sparked in the 1960’s – of transforming their parking lot into affordable housing. Continue reading “Arbora Court: A dream decades in the making begins to come true”

Seattleites are Generally Optimistic About Seattle’s Future

SEAtopia Experience

During the Seattle Design Festival Block Party, Weber Thompson hosted an interactive VR experience called SEAtopia. The SEAtopian world looks to a future cast through the lens of science fiction to frame the inherent challenges influencing contemporary urban design and place making. Through the eyes of characters in this dystopic (or utopic?) version of Seattle, users were able to imagine a fictional environment that depicts how climate change, density, and economic forces might affect our city’s future. Continue reading “Seattleites are Generally Optimistic About Seattle’s Future”

Breaking Ground at Arbora Court

Breaking Ground at Arbora Court

On September 20th, Weber Thompson joined Bellwether Housing, members of the University Christian Church congregation, public officials, and community members to celebrate the groundbreaking of Arbora Court.

Years in the making, this new affordable family housing project will be home to individuals and families living in 133 units. The location is ideal – close to transit stops, grocery stores, a farmers market, medical facilities and other community amenities in the University District of Seattle. The site was formerly a parking lot owned by the University Christian Church, but was sold to Bellwether Housing so it could eventually be transformed into affordable housing. Continue reading “Breaking Ground at Arbora Court”

Small but Mighty: Making a Big Impact with Tiny Houses

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As Architects and designers in Seattle, we see how a demand for housing in our city is affecting cost and availability, and contributing to an increase in homelessness. According to the 2016 “One Night Count” there were 10,047 people homeless in King County on January 29th, 2016, and 4,505 without shelter (statistics that are widely considered undercounts). Weber Thompson cares deeply about community, and as people who design shelter for a living, we asked ourselves, “What more can we do to help with this issue?” When we learned about the Low Income Housing Institute’s (LIHI) Tiny House work, we were inspired by their program and jumped at the chance to become more involved.

LIHI is dedicated to serving a wide variety of populations through a number of programs, including the operation of four (and growing) homeless encampments across the city for sheltering homeless families and individuals. LIHI’s encampments offer an improvement over the conditions of non-regulated encampments by providing safe and secure temporary housing, with access to services that can help homeless residents work to secure more permanent housing. LIHI’s village encampments are democratic and self-managed, have strict codes of conduct, include resident background checks, and work with communities to conscientiously integrate encampments into neighborhoods across the city. LIHI’s villages provide space for tent shelters and also Tiny Houses.

Tiny Houses are small, simple, sturdy sleeping structures. The structures have an open floor plan of about 8’x12’, a window, a lockable door, and may provide shelter for individuals, couples and families of up to four. The structures do not typically include power or water; these services are provided on site as a shared resource. Likewise, a common kitchen is used by residents for meals, as the tiny houses have no cooking facilities. LIHI already offers Tiny House assembly instructions (available to any community group interested in providing a unit) and Weber Thompson saw an opportunity to utilize our design skill sets to build upon LIHI’s Tiny House prototype. Continue reading “Small but Mighty: Making a Big Impact with Tiny Houses”