The content for this article was originally featured in The Registry on February 5, 2021.
One of Seattle’s busiest architecture firms has departed its longtime home in South Lake Union in search of greener pastures—almost literally. With a focus on environmental and sustainable design at its helm and an expiring lease on the horizon, Weber Thompson made the jump from The Terry Thomas to Watershed, an award-winning Living Building Pilot Program building in the Fremont neighborhood. The move will usher in a new era for the company as it continues to live its ethos of environmentally-friendly design.
Completed in 2008 and designed by Weber Thompson, The Terry Thomas building became the architecture firm’s home after it vacated another South Lake Union building known as the Wright Schuchart Building. At the time, the four-level Terry Thomas was nationally recognized for its sustainable design—a factor which promptly shifted Weber Thompson’s goals as a firm. When it came time to move after more than a decade, Weber Thompson wanted to up the ante once again.
“[The Terry Thomas] was such an innovative, pioneering, sustainable project at the time, and it really ended up changing the course of our practice in pretty significant ways…” recalled Weber Thompson Managing Partner and Principal in Charge, Kristen Scott. “…But we were looking for our next chapter…Watershed was going to be a Living Building Pilot project, so it was the next step in sustainable design and really pushing our knowledge and skills in a way that we wanted to continue.”
As luck would have it, the same client group that Weber Thompson worked with when designing the Terry Thomas building was in charge of Watershed, bringing the move full-circle. Additionally, Turner Construction was the general contractor for the core and shell of the full building, while Schuchart served as the general contractor for Weber Thompson’s own space.
“It was a great fit. It was a no-brainer,” added Scott.