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This past January, our new development for the Peninsula Housing Authority completed construction. Located at the northern edge of the Olympic National Park in Port Angeles, Mount Angeles View consists of 63 townhome and flat apartment homes distributed over seven different buildings, and is the first phase of a 232-home master plan. Surrounded and inspired by the beauty of the Olympic Peninsula, each building is named after a nearby mountain; Ellinor, Constance, Bogachiel, Anderson, Mystery, Olympus, and Hurricane.
The site design nestles the buildings into the surrounding community, and creates its own sense of place with many walkways connecting these new neighbors together, and anchors them around a small pocket park at the center of the site. Each home, whether townhome style or flat, provides its future tenant with outdoor space of their own.
A phased building delivery approach kept things interesting throughout construction with the first building being turned over for move-in August of last year, and construction continuing for an additional six months with the last building completed this past January. Not long after construction completed, the Peninsula Housing Authority hosted a block party celebration to thank all of the residents and community partners that came together to make this project a possibility.
This much needed affordable housing development has been a long time coming for the Port Angeles community. From schematic design through construction, Schemata has been a part of the effort for the past 6 years. Now that the project is complete, we are excited to see how this development evolves over the coming months as residents continue to move in and make these houses their homes.
As volunteers in AIA Seattle’s Diversity Roundtable (DRT) Committee, we are about to embark on another adventure with our Architects in Schools program! As the 2017 - 2018 school year is now in full swing, we wanted to share a little bit about the program, the past work we’ve accomplished, and our exciting plans for the future.
First, a little bit of background. The DRT’s Architects in Schools Program is designed to expose K-8 students of underrepresented communities to architecture, and engage them in the design process. The goal is to give the youth involved an understanding of design basics through hands-on experiences and discussions, while focusing on bringing awareness of the architectural profession to children of diverse racial backgrounds. This is in support of the DRT’s overarching mission; to enrich the architectural profession by nurturing future designers who have diverse experiences, skill sets, and perspectives. Such shifts will create innovative solutions and approaches, while supporting an inclusive environment within the architectural profession.
Architects in Schools has been a part of the DRT’s agenda in the past, however last year, we rebooted the curriculum with a new pilot program at St. Edward’s Elementary School in Columbia City. DRT volunteers worked with 19 of the school’s eighth-grade students, all either female or minorities, through weekly one-hour lessons. The curriculum for the pilot was divided into quarterly groups of sessions, which introduced students to the profession, taught them the basics of the design process, and exposed them to architectural drawing techniques. The program ended with a final design project and public presentation, where the students learned SketchUp as a tool to express their designs. The broader strategy for last year was to develop the students’ creative problem-solving and computer skills, as well to help with their math and artistic development.
Sprinkled throughout our classroom sessions with the students, the University of Washington provided a guided tour of the Department of Architecture where students learned about the first steps toward becoming an architect. We also incorporated an office tour, where students heard about how a firm works, and were able to ask questions to get a sense of what it’s like to work in an architectural office.
The first two sessions for this year’s Architects in Schools kicked off a couple weeks ago at St. Edward. We’re excited to have support through the K-8 Architecture & Design Education Grant from The Architects Foundation and Armstrong World Industries Foundation this year to be able to expand what our program can offer. We will also be shifting the curriculum focus from computer based design, to honing skills around scale, model building, and transforming 2D drawings into 3D physical forms.
Looking towards the future, we are hoping to broaden our outreach to multiple schools within the next year or two. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to grow and evolve our program!
-Marijana & Margaret
PARK(ing) Day was two weeks ago and we're still reflecting on what a fun, community driven day it was. Special thanks are in order for our partners: Ragen & Associates for the beautiful plants and pots; Southpaw Pizza for providing pizzas at our potluck; Low Income Housing Institute for teaming with us on the benchtable, which found a home at their Georgetown Village.
It was a wonderfully busy day, topped off with a delicious community dinner and an extended presentation of Grace's TED Talk. Check out some of the highlights:
Incredibly, two weeks have passed since our open house and Park(ing) Day. And what is there to say except a heartfelt "thank you" to everyone who made the day possible and came out to celebrate with us.