After over a decade of involvement in advocacy for the now emerging transformation of the Seattle's Central Waterfront, we are pleased to announce that Schemata Workshop has been selected to supplement the design team led by CH2M Hill and James Corner Field Operations. We will be responsible for helping execute designs by both JCFO and SHoP Architects (both of New York), as well as designing smaller structures, urban interventions and other miscellaneous structures. This is a proud moment indeed for the studio, to be included on the most signification urban design, landscape, and infrastructure project in Seattle's history.
James Corner Field Operations and SHoP Architects at Benaroya Hall, September 2010
Although new to the team, members of Schemata Workshop have had deep involvement with helping to craft a new vision of the waterfront since the opportunity first presented itself in the aftermath of the February 2001 Nisqually earthquake that raised awareness of the vulnerability of the Alaska Way Viaduct.
Continuing the tradition of local architects Lee Copeland and others in the late 1960's under Action:Better City, Schemata Workshop founding partner Mike Mariano worked with a small group of A:BC members on some short films in the early '00s, including one in 2003 that focused on bringing greater public awareness to the opportunities presented on the Central Waterfront and removal of the Viaduct.
Mike soon transitioned from A:BC to the executive committee of Allied Arts of Seattle (AAS), and contributed to a substantial effort through this civic organization that helped to redefine the entire waterfront conversation as an opportunity for more than just a transportation corridor. AAS has a long history of positive influence in Seattle, including Victor Steinbrueck's leadership in saving the beloved Pike Place Market from all but certain demolition 40 years ago. For the Central Waterfront, Mike and other AAS boardmembers with Executive Director David Yeaworth built a grass roots effort, that convinced city and state officials, dignitaries, environmentalists, and the public at large of the need to turn our waterfront into the heart and soul of the city. Mike worked with AAS to develop the Guiding Principles for the AAS campaign, principles that have essentially been incorporated into the current project as adopted by the City of Seattle, also under the same Waterfront For All name.
Pike Place Market: An early Allied Arts victory and a key place on Seattle's Central Waterfront
After moving to Seattle in 2002, John Feit also became engaged in the Waterfront For All effort. Working with Mike at Miller|Hull, Mike's enthusiasm for the project was quickly shared with John, who started attending many public meetings to not only understand the challenge, but to later and for a better waterfront solution as part of the Waterfront for All Campaign. As the years progressed, John led two of the three waterfront charrette teams (one city sponsored, the other by AAS). AAS used the graphics from the latter in the ensuing years, as the organization tirelessly lobbied stakeholders, many of whom are now leading the project we are now involved in. Mike & John were at the interviews at Benaroya on 9/15/2010 and took great pride in seeing a grass roots effort lead to presentations by four exceptionally qualified, design teams that interviewed for the project.
Schemata Workshop is incredibly fortunate to have been selected as one of the local consultants, and are putting our best effort forward in support of the fabulous design team we will be working with.