As BLRB Architects continues to gain new clients throughout the Pacific Northwest, the firm has added several staff members throughout its regional offices.
New professionals include David Spangler, Tammy Vetsch, Sanaz Labafzadeh, Ray Avis, Omar Velasco in Tacoma; Chris Weiland in Spokane; and Evan Vansandt in Portland.
Construction has begun on the new Harrison Elementary School for the South Lane School District in Cottage Grove, Oregon.
The 80,000-square-foot school will be constructed on the grounds of the old Cottage Grove High School, which was replaced in 2003. The new school will accommodate up to 650 students and features a two-story design, with classrooms organized into in six learning communities.
The guiding principles for the school’s design include being a place to inspire learning, providing a safe and secure environment, community use and access, adaptability and flexibility, durability and sustainability, honoring community and history, and supporting wellness. Construction is anticipated to be finished by the end of June 2018 and open for students September 2018.
BLRB Architects has been selected by Portland Public Schools for the modernization of Madison High School. Located in the Madison South and Roseway neighborhoods of Portland, Madison High School originally opened in 1957 and is considered a historically significant building. The 284,000-square-foot school is among the most diverse student bodies in the state, with more than 30 languages represented.
The project will include significant modernizations throughout the campus with the possibility of site additions. The modernization will be designed for a student capacity of 1,700. The first phase of the project will include pre-design, master planning, programming and educational specifications, with future phases of the project contingent on the upcoming bond.
Barnes Butte Elementary School in Prineville, Oregon has been selected to appear as an Outstanding Design in American School & University Magazine’s 2016 Architectural Portfolio.
This year, the panel of Architectural Portfolio judges selected various school projects from all over the country to be featured in the November 2016 issue of American School & University. Barnes Butte is the only school selected from Oregon.
The new elementary school opened in September 2015. The school was designed for flexibility and includes multiple breakout areas for small group instruction and team teaching, as well as community-use spaces.
In designing IronHorse Lodge for Pacific Crest in Prineville, Oregon, BLRB partnered with Energy Trust of Oregon’s Path to Net Zero to set new standards for sustainable design.
The 26-unit housing complex for low-income seniors uses 82 percent less energy than a typical multifamily building, 77 percent less energy than an Oregon Code Minimum building, and 40 percent less energy than what’s required for Energy Trust’s Path to Net Zero threshold.
Path to Net Zero lays the groundwork to pursue net-zero energy use–essentially when a building produces as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year. For BLRB and Pacific Crest, it is the ultimate target in energy-efficient design.
The building’s highly efficient features include solar panels that produce energy for water heating and electricity, a variable refrigerant flow HVAC system that delivers tremendous savings and comfort, and a tightly sealed shell with thick walls and top-quality insulation. Solar tubes bring in natural light in the hallways, and there’s even a system for capturing and repurposing rainwater.
Pacific Crest Affordable Housing, the award-winning Bend-based developer specializes in sustainable housing for low-income seniors who appreciate the lower rents and extra savings on their utility bills.
The replacement of Genesee Hill Elementary School for Seattle Public Schools recently opened to staff and students in West Seattle.
With its significant grade differential and a protected stand of old growth trees, Genesee Hill’s six-acre site presented inherent challenges. The original 1949 school had been built at the ‘top’ of the site, with the play fields on the lower portion; so separated by distance that they didn’t get much use, even during recess. BLRB’s charge was to develop a design that made better use of the entire site and integrated gracefully into the surrounding residential neighborhood.
Built to serve 700 students, the 102,980-square-foot elementary school will provide a contemporary, forward thinking and technology-rich learning environment for decades of Seattle students to come.
BLRB Architects was recently hired by the Reynolds School District in Fairview, Oregon, for the replacements of three elementary schools and security upgrades throughout the district.
BLRB will collaborate with the district and its stakeholders on design for the replacements of Fairview, Troutdale and Wilkes Elementary Schools. The security upgrades will include improvements to secure entries throughout the district.
The 78,750-square-foot Barnes Butte Elementary School for the Crook County School District recently opened in Prineville, Oregon. Upon passage of a $33.5 million capital construction bond in 2013, BLRB was engaged for planning, design and delivery of a new K-5 elementary school on an undeveloped site in Prineville, Oregon. Overarching goals were to provide small learning environments and flexibility of space that supports collaborative learning, team teaching and a variety of educational programs. Student safety, facility security, community after-hours use and operational cost-efficiency were additional guiding elements. Barnes Butte supports up to 700 students and offers flexible, personalized and responsive learning environments tailored to the unique elements of the district’s educational program. Our service to this client also included an additional $8M in capital facility improvements at several district facilities.
The Southwest Washington Chapter of AIA has awarded BLRB Architects’ Ron Harpel, AIA, the 2015 Charles T. Pearson Award for community service.
The Pearson Award is given out every other year by the Southwest Washington Chapter of American Institute of Architects to recognize area architects who use their professional abilities in providing service to the community. The award is named after Charles Pearson, a Tacoma-based architect who, in addition to founding the Southwest Washington Chapter of AIA, was heavily involved with community service.
Harpel received the award as part of AIASWW’s 2015 Design Awards Gala, held November 4 in Tacoma.
A principal at Tacoma-based BLRB Architects, Ron has served the community through a variety of organizations, including Metro Parks Tacoma, the Thea Foss Waterway Development Authority, Tacoma Arts Commission, Habitat for Humanity, Paint Tacoma Beautiful, Tacoma Public Schools’ Communities in Schools, AIA Southwest Washington, the Washington State University School of Design and Construction, among others.
Ron currently volunteers as a board member for the Thea Foss Waterway Development Authority and vice-chair of Metro Park’s Active Lifestyles and Community Wellness Advisory Committee. Ron also served as the lead advisor for development and installation of the City of Tacoma’s Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial, which stands today on Ruston Way.