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”
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”
It’s not every day that you see Blaine Weber digging in the dirt in downtown Seattle. But on March 14th he grabbed a shovel and joined the Nexus team at a ceremonial groundbreaking to kick off the start of construction of the iconic tower. Continue reading “Nexus breaks ground in Seattle’s East Village”
The African proverb ‘it takes a village’ was turned sideways last week at the annual Housing Development Consortium (HDC) Celebration Luncheon. Playing off a prime time TV series, the event presented “We Are HDC” as the theme to represent the 130+ organizations and their 16,600 employees who are members of HDC. Continue reading “We Are HDC: Our part in providing more affordable housing”
This week we sent out a newsletter highlighting our 2017 Impact Initiatives. Continue reading “Explore Our Impact Initiatives for 2017 & Beyond”
In the summer of 2016 Weber Thompson started with a simple idea: to design, build, and donate basic shelter for a family in need through the Low Income Housing Institute’s (LIHI) Tiny House program. How hard could it be for a few architects to build an 8’ x 12’ structure over a few weekends, right? Continue reading “It Takes a Village”
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”
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”
What is your Name & Title/Role? Bernadette Rubio, Interior Design Principal
You were just promoted! What about this new role excites you the most?
I’ve been with WT for almost four years and have been part of an incredible group of designers. Carrie Smith has been instrumental in making that happen and I learned a lot from working alongside her. What I’m really excited about is building upon that success, taking the WTid team to the next level and helping each of our team members flourish as designers.
What has been your favorite project?
My favorite project is a tossup between 4730 California Apartments in West Seattle and Pike Motorworks in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Both projects were urban infill projects developed by The Wolff Company. Each project design was inspired by the uniqueness of their respective neighborhoods.
These projects were successful because the entire design team, especially the client, stayed true to the concept and were committed to executing the design throughout the process. It’s a testament to a great client/designer/contractor team relationship. Continue reading “Meet the Staff: Bernadette Rubio”
I recently had the pleasure of attending the grand opening for Raven Terrace, which marks the second completed low-income, multifamily building in Seattle’s Yesler Terrace neighborhood. While the completion of great multi-family projects is work as usual here at Weber Thompson, this project has special significance to me personally and also for the city of Seattle.
Three years ago, Weber Thompson hired me as a part of their high rise studio. However, due to shifting project schedules my first role was project designer on Raven Terrace. I was excited to tackle something new and different. While I had volunteered with Habitat for Humanity before, my familiarity with “government housing” was somewhat antiquated. I quickly learned Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) takes the design quality of their projects seriously. To ensure our team’s design could respond to the community the building would serve, SHA shepherded meetings for us with the Yesler Terrace neighborhood and future building tenants. Understanding the backgrounds and stories from the neighborhood enriched the building design and better equipped us to serve the residents. Furthermore, with sweeping views of the city and Mount Rainier, the site held plenty of potential for something exceptional. Most importantly though, SHA’s vision for evolving a healthy, vibrant and accessible community in the heart of Seattle drove the success of Raven Terrace. Continue reading “From paper to reality: Watching Raven Terrace come to life”