Ah, fall. Temperatures are dropping, the sun is showing its face less and less frequently, leaves are turning brilliant shades of orange and red. With the transition of summer to fall (and fall to winter) comes a brutal realization for Seattle’s bicycle commuters: it’s going to start raining, and continue for months on end. Continue reading “How to ride in the rain”
Weber Thompson was awarded an American Society of Landscape Architects Washington State Chapter (WASLA) Merit Award in the Analysis and Planning category for RainBellows, a conceptual biomimicry project developed by Weber Thompson’s Landscape Studio in collaboration with Alexandra Ramsden of Rushing and Jennifer Barnes of 55-5 Consulting. RainBellows was one of eight projects to be honored for its excellence in landscape design and planning. Continue reading “RainBellows Wins 2017 WASLA Merit Award for Analysis and Planning”
Another May has come and gone, inspiring cyclists across Washington to get out and get fit for the glory of the summer months to come. With the long days, fantastic sunshine, and temperate 70-degree weather, we are reminded why we bear the dark, damp winter months. Weber Thompson had 21 staffers in this voluntary group that were split into three teams. Each team represented different non-profit organizations, competing for charitable donations in a winner-take-all, all-rides-count race for maximum mileage for the month. Continue reading “Celebrating Bike Month at Weber Thompson”
The annual WT employee art show kicked off this month with an impressive showing from 12 resident artists who displayed their skills in a wide range of media including oil and acrylic, wood bowls and an iPod with written and composed music. Continue reading “The WT Art Show: Showcasing Talents Beyond the Office”
Weber Thompson’s Director of Sustainability, Myer Harrell, recently attended the AIA National Conference, where he presented as part of the panel “Living From Seattle’s Living Building Pilot Program.” The conference was filled with inspirational speakers and educational programs. Below, he captures some of the highlights.
At the first keynote of A’17 (the 2017 AIA Conference on Architecture), titled Anticipating the Need: Design that Cares, Pritzker Prize-winner Alejandro Aravena engaged the architect-filled audience by drawing diagrams on a white board to reinforce ideas as he spoke. Continue reading “AIA Convention Highlights”
In celebration of Earth Month, I want to take a minute to introduce the Weber Thompson SustainabiliTeam (WTST), our version of an internal green team. Despite working in ‘Ecotopia’ (the Pacific Northwest) and despite our progress toward well-sited, energy-efficient, water-efficient, lower-toxicity and lower-resource buildings, now more than ever we need strategic thinking and additional effort to continually improve our project portfolio. Continue reading “Doin’ Our Part: Meet the WT SustainabiliTeam”
The AIA Seattle, Materials Matter educational series recently came to an end after 5 sessions on building materials and their environmental impact. The deep dive into material health was co-presented by the Puget Sound chapter of the CSI and took place at Seattle City Hall. Each session focused on an individual sub topic of materials and encouraged the use of interactive tools that can be used to implement the ideas discussed. Continue reading “Materials Matter Session 2 Recap by Mindi Caulley”
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”
On September 29th, Weber Thompson Landscape Architecture Principal Rachael Meyer was featured in the Daily Journal of Commerce Environmental Outlook special section. Her article, titled “Reusing Stormwater Can Release Untapped Benefits,” suggests that green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) could help mitigate the effects of stormwater runoff in the urban environment. GSI works because it mimics natural systems to absorb, delay and clean the water within a natural watershed before it reaches a collecting body of water.
Read the article on the DJC to learn about GSI strategies, or visit our website to learn about the green stormwater strategies that will be used at the Fremont Office Building. Continue reading “Reusing Stormwater Can Release Untapped Benefits”
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”