‘Form’ is a powerful word. We form ideas, opinions, relationships, nations. We bring form to structures, cities, and countries, our world and possibly other worlds in the future. Form takes up space, matters to us, and engages us in our community. It is a noun and a verb, occupying the past, present, and future.
Seattle Architecture Foundation wants us to further this conversation about form for their 18th Annual Architectural Model Exhibit, held in their soon to be opened Center for Architecture and Design. FORM is the theme for the Center’s first exhibit, an invitation for us to look at what is taking shape in the Northwest. Weber Thompson had the honor of being a donor in the fundraising campaign to open the Center, and our staff member Kirsten Clemens sits on the board of directors for SAF. We will have our DATA 1 and Arbora Court projects on display during the exhibit. These projects utilize form in two unique and important ways; form as a platform for social change, and form as a driver of neighborhood connectivity.
When approached to design a highly sustainable office project in Seattle’s self-proclaimed ‘Center of the Universe,’ Weber Thompson jumped at the chance. The Fremont Office Building site and program offers many opportunities to design a handsome building that pushes the limits of building performance. With a strong east-west orientation, the site is ideal for passive solar design. Ambitious landscaping will retain and treat rainwater runoff from Troll Avenue and the Aurora Bridge. This on-site treatment will clean water prior to discharge in Lake Union, or allow it to be reused on site if applicable. Natural materials, human scale and a contemporary design will give this high performance office building personality and warmth that fits easily into the quirky quilt work of Fremont.
Our second Weber Thompson featured project addresses a matter very close to Seattle’s heart: homelessness. Each night in Seattle, more than 500 families have no place to go. Bellwether Housing and University Christian Church have teamed up to develop affordable rental housing for 133 of these working individuals and their families, and they have chosen Weber Thompson to help them realize this plan. The triple bottom line is Bellwether’s guiding vision: create a place that’s healthy for the environment, economically viable, and good for the community. With amenities and services including an outdoor playground, indoor gathering areas, parking, easy access to transit and street-level commercial for non-profit social or human-service organizations, UCC Family Housing will be for many residents, the most stable and vibrant place they’ve ever called home. This will be their platform – a foundation on which to build their families, their communities and their lives.
Opening Night Reception for the SAF Architectural Model Exhibit will be held on January 13th at 6 PM, and the Architecture Model Exhibit will be on display through February 12th. The Center is located at 1010 Western Avenue.