The content for this article was originally featured in the Daily Journal of Commerce on March 3, 2022.
Blaine Weber founded the Seattle architecture firm Weber Thompson just in time.
The year was 1987, which saw the crash of the stock market and a crash — albeit temporary — in the local economy and construction market.
The downturn gave Weber an important tool in his arsenal as an architect and company leader.
“Project funding in 1987 evaporated like an ice cube on hot asphalt, and many of our projects went on hold,” said Weber. “Fortunately, we had a couple of contrarian, counter-cyclical clients with ties to private capital that relished tough times when labor and materials went ‘on sale.’ These clients helped us power through what ended up being very challenging times for design professionals.”
Looking back on his 50-year career, as he prepares to retire as senior principal and co-founding partner this month, Weber said he’s grateful for the good and not-so-good times.
Weber, with Scott Thompson, has been responsible for the firm’s large portfolio of award-winning, high-rise residential projects. Weber’s career included designing high-rise towers, hotels, luxury condominiums and complex mixed-use projects.
Weber led the design of several projects that grace the Seattle and Bellevue skylines, including Nexus, Kiara, The Post, Stratus, Cirrus, Helios, Viktoria, Ascent, Premiere on Pine, Cristalla, and Fifteen Twenty-One, as well as currently under construction projects such as The Ivey, The Ayer and Avenue Bellevue.
Weber was also a staunch advocate for high-density downtown living and for safeguarding the architectural profession from a risk management standpoint.
Senior principal and partner Amanda Keating will continue Weber’s legacy as she takes over the leadership of Weber Thompson’s high-rise design studio.