2008 NEWS

ORB Architects Hires Intern Architects Nguyen and Beitlers (Dec. 12, 2008)
New Homes for Army Families at Fort Wainwright, Alaska (Nov. 24, 2008)
Whidbey Island's John Vanderzicht Pool Feasibility Study (Nov. 18, 2008)
Carving for a Cause (Nov. 10, 2008)
Freeway Park's Pigott Corridor Fountain and Lighting Restoration (June 25, 2008)
Monson and Brooks Hired by ORB Architects for Military Projects (June 4, 2008)
Metro Parks Tacoma Community Center Upgrades (April 28, 2008)
ORB Completes Renovations at Riverton Terrace and Gustaves Manor (March 25, 2008)
Aquatic Survey Report Now Available (March 1, 2008)


Intern Architects Will Work on Recreation and Military Projects

RENTON, Washington—December 12, 2008—Nhi Nguyen and Kham Beitlers have joined the ORB Architects team
as intern architects. Nhi (pictured left), who recently
moved to the Seattle area, received her Bachelor of
Science in Architecture from Temple University in
Philadelphia. She will be starting her intern development program, and her focus will be on Metro Parks' Four Community Center Upgrades project.

Kham (pictured left) has a Bachelor of Art in Architectural Studies from University of Washington and three years' experience in a range of project types. While her initial focus will be on military projects at Fort Lewis, her past work on community centers will be beneficial for future parks and recreation projects. Beitlers will complete her intern development program credits and take her LEED® AP
exam this month.

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Multi-Family Housing and Play Areas Designed by ORB Architects Completed
Ahead of Schedule and Below Budget


RENTON, Washington—November 24, 2008—ORB Architects was part of a design-build
team that worked with the U.S. Army to build the new Siku Basin neighborhood containing
126 housing units, two children's play areas, and two parking lots. The project included site development for utilities, roads, and sidewalks and design and construction. The development contains a mixture of 3-, 4-, and 5-bedroom units in duplex, triplex, and fourplex configurations.

ORB Architects was involved in all aspects of the project, including providing full architectural design services,
conducting site visits, site planning services and
construction administration.

ORB Architects teamed with Osborne Construction Company of Kirkland, Wash., for this design-build collaboration. The design-build process offers the benefit of a partnership between architect and builder, an accelerated timeline, and a reduced budget. In this case, the fast-tracked design was released for construction in four phases, with each phase being completed at least three months ahead of the contractor's fast-tracked turnover schedule and approximately $400,000 under the $73 million budget, even with the implementation of numerous improvements made during construction for the benefit of the users and reduced life-cycle maintenance cost.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' goal was to have visually interesting and comfortable homes for Army families. According to Geoff Anderson, Project Architect, "We wanted to avoid a monochromatic, repeating series of row houses, so we incorporated a variety of colors and patterns to give the buildings texture and depth." The buildings contain unique elements and welcoming characteristics for each individual unit. Each housing unit is also defined as a separate home by reducing the overall building scale with layered facade elements and setbacks that focus the attention to the individual housing unit.

"While the design accentuates the individuality of each housing unit, the landscaping and pedestrian and vehicular circulation elements of the design foster a sense of neighborhood and community, as well as all yards have direct access to the commons areas to facilitate the supervision of children at play," says Jake Jacobson, Vice President of Osborne Construction Company.


The project is rated SPiRiT Gold (Sustainable Project Rating Tool). The Sustainable Project Rating Tool is derived from The U.S. Green Building Council LEEDŽ 2.0 (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating SystemT and was used by the U.S. Army at the start of this project.

For additional project photos:
Osborne Construction Company: Siku Basin Project Photos
ORB Architects: Siku Basin Project Information

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ORB Architects Will Analyze the Feasibility of Expanding the John Vanderzicht Pool

RENTON, Washington—November 18, 2008—North Whidbey Parks and Recreation District selected ORB Architects to perform a study analyzing options for the future of John Vanderzicht Pool.
The District chose ORB Architects over two other firms who were interviewed. "All three
of them gave excellent presentations, and I was really pleased with what they had to say," Commissioner Sally Dillon told the Whidbey News Times. "In addition, ORB has 40 years of experience with providing a large number of similar studies for clients, and the company has project leaders with experience, special training and methodology."

Parks and Recreation Director Craig Carlson added, "They have experience adding on to pools. You don't usually find a company like that."

The Complete Story →

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ORB Architects and Other Seattle Firms "Carved for a Cause"

RENTON, Washington—November 10, 2008—What happens when you give creative types a carving knife and pumpkin and tell them their efforts will benefit an organization that helps communities in crisis develop recovery programs? Well, apparently they bring it.

The pumpkin-carving contest, co-sponsored by AIA Seattle, Seattle Architecture Foundation, and Design Within Reach, to raise money for Architects Without Borders was declared a great success by AIA Seattle.

Firms were invited to submit their entries for consideration in five categories: Traditional, Starchitecture, Freestyle, Judges' Choice, and People's Choice. The winners were announced at a reception on October 30th.

For the second year in a row, ORB Architects participated in the contest. "We like to use this event as a team-building opportunity," said Geoff Anderson, Principal of ORB Architects and AIA Seattle Board Member. "It's a fun, casual way to bring everyone in our firm together, while at the same time supporting a cause that's aligned with our firm's mission."

Free pizza and bragging rights enticed enough participation that there had to be a vote to narrow down which pumpkins went on to be entries. In the end, ORB Architects submitted two pumpkins—one featuring mice winding their way through holes called "Ball of Cheese," and another representing a friendly ghost from the classic video game Pac-Man. Though neither of their entries won, the ORB Architects team enjoyed participating and also deemed the event successful.

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Mayor Greg Nickels Opened the Spigot at Pigott

RENTON, Washington—June 25, 2008—The Pigott Corridor fountain at Freeway Park reopened today following renovations to the fountain and addition and restoration of the pedestrian lighting to the area. "This fountain restoration is part of a renaissance for improving Freeway Park and our other downtown parks," explained Mayor Greg Nickels in the opening ceremony. He then ushered in "The Return of Water" with a turn of the spigot.

ORB Architects led the design team for Pigott Corridor, working with the city landscapers to solve complex problems in order to restore its fountain after years of it being nonoperational.


The project was part of the Mayor's initiative to transform Seattle's center city parks into vibrant, attractive public spaces. Freeway Park, located at 700 Seneca Street, was chosen for site improvements, including rehabilitation of multiple fountains and landscape upgrades. The goal of the project was to improve public safety, access, park character, and programming opportunities, thus making the park more inviting to everyone and encouraging its active use by children, neighbors, downtown workers, and visitors using the Convention Center and Visitors Bureau. The project budget is $2.5 million.

Construction continues on Canyon, Cascade, and American Legion Fountains at Freeway Park and is expected to be complete in 2009.  

For additional information about this project:
Seattle Parks & Recreation Major Maintenance Project Information: Freeway Park Renovation
ORB Architects: Freeway Park Project Information

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RENTON, Washington—June 4, 2008—ORB Architects has hired two additional project architects to meet the increasing need in its Military Projects Division.

Bob Monson (pictured left), an architect with 39 years of experience, 34 of them with the U.S. Navy and Corps of Engineers, has joined ORB with a focus on design and quality assurance. A recipient of the Superior Civilian Service Award from the U.S. Army, Commander’s Award for Civilian Service from the Corps of Engineers, and numerous Outstanding Service Awards over the years while with the Seattle District Corps of Engineers, Bob will be an asset to ORB in fulfilling our contracts for military projects.

Daniel Brooks (pictured left) has also joined ORB as an intern architect and project manager. Daniel has worked with a wide range of multi-disciplined project teams, including those involving corporate clients such as Albertson’s, Jack in the Box, McDonald’s, Payless Shoes, and Starbucks.

Daniel also has experience working on HUD multi-family residential and assisted-living facilities in Washington and Oregon. This experience, combined with Daniel's service in the U.S. Army and Reserves, will be valuable as he works with our military contacts on a variety of projects.

Bob and Daniel join John Patterson, Vice President, Military Projects Division, who has 46 years of experience with military projects. In fact, John was responsible for developing the Fort Lewis Design Standards and JOC⁄MATOC specifications for the U.S. Army. "Expanding our military department will allow ORB to continue providing timely and effective A&E services to our military client base, and now we're able to accommodate more clients and projects at once," says John.

ORB currently has contracts with the U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center Major Project Division and Washington Air National Guard for State of Washington. Previous contracts include the U.S. Army Seattle District Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of the Air Force, Federal Emergency Management Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Postal Service.

In addition, ORB has performed subcontracting work for multiple government contracts. Recent and current projects include design-build of Denali Village and Siku Basin (pictured left) Army Family Housing at Fort Wainwright, Alaska; renovating Nelson Recreation Center, McVeigh Gym, Soldiers Field House, Crittenberger Library, French Theater, and Evergreen Theater, all at Fort Lewis, Washington; and providing RFP documents for Ditto Diner, Child and Youth Sports and Fitness Fields, Travel Camp Cabins, and an RV/POV Storage Lot, at various locations.

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RENTON, Washington—April 29, 2008—Metro Parks Tacoma has chosen ORB Architects to design upgrades to four of its community centers — People’s, South Park, Portland Avenue, and Snake Lake Nature Center.

"ORB Architects was selected for this project based on their commitment to incorporate the use of building-science and innovative engineering to design upgrades at these aging community centers. The firm’s history with Metro Parks includes solving highly technical design problems. They successfully designed three spray-grounds, implementing new technologies for children to safely play in water on hot days," said Ken Cornwall, Project Manager.

Responsibilities include meeting with key staff and operations personnel, developing project design documents, providing cost-estimating services, employing invasive and non-invasive building-science technology to diagnose hidden moisture intrusion of building envelope, and handling construction administration. The scope of work extends to HVAC systems, lighting, building envelope, structural elements, electrical systems, and new layout concepts.

ORB has enlisted the services of BCE for electrical engineering, Stantec Seattle for mechanical engineering, and PCS Structural Solutions for structural engineering. BCRA is the building sciences consultant.

The MACC is $2,186,300. The project was awarded in January of 2008, and completion is scheduled for May of 2009.

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Riverton Terrace — Before
Riverton Terrace — After
RENTON, Washington—March 25, 2008—Renovations designed by ORB Architects were recently completed on Riverton Terrace in Tukwila and Gustaves Manor in Auburn. King County Housing Authority’s (KCHA) impetus for upgrading these apartment buildings, which house elderly and disabled residents, was the need for critical safety improvements, including new sprinkler systems, fire-alarm systems, doors, and lighting updates. The total renovation budgets were $1 million and $.5 million, respectively.

In addition to the safety enhancements, Riverton Terrace was given a major overhaul, including new flooring, paint, decor, hardware, and appliances in all of the units and common areas. Most notably, the exterior received a completely new appearance and an entrance that accommodated the creation of a common area for residents.
"The Riverton Terrace renovation not only upgraded the quality and ensured the long-term viability of a vital public asset, it also improves the safety and comfort of our seniors and residents with disabilities," said Stephen Norman, executive director of the King County Housing Authority, according to the Highline Times/SeaTac News.

Construction recently began on similar ORB-designed updates to four additional KCHA multi-housing facilities — 70-unit Casa Madrona in Olympia, 61-unit Mardi Gras in Kent, 60-unit Munro Manor in Burien, and 70-unit Plaza Seventeen in Auburn. The project is slated to be complete by the end of 2008.

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RENTON, Washington—March 1, 2008—In a continuation of its nearly 20-year tradition of collecting aquatic center data and passing it on to communities, ORB Architects has recently finished updating its operational statistics for selected aquatic facilities in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Every facility that participated in the survey will receive the report.

ORB Architects is the only local firm gathering data on aquatic and recreation facilities located in the Northwest. The information obtained is critical in performing feasibility studies for municipalities considering building a new facility or renovating an existing facility. "This survey data, combined with other market analysis, allows ORB to give its clients a clear picture of the future of a proposed facility," says Geoff Anderson, Principal of ORB. "This can be beneficial in the up-front determination of a facility's feasibility and also in educating the public and building a case for obtaining financing through a bond or other measures."


The survey includes a listing of the facility features, operating expense and revenue, pool attendance and fee schedule. Pool managers have incentive to participate because they can use the data to compare their facilities with others like theirs, share best practices, and obtain ideas for improving the facility's economic and community benefits.

While data is refreshed every 3-4 years, the report is constantly being supplemented by new information received. Pool managers can still participate and subsequently receive a complimentary copy of the survey by contacting us and referencing the aquatic facility survey in your message.

About ORB Architects
Established in 1964, ORB Architects is a full-service architectural Small Business/Minority Business Enterprise firm. With a focus on community recreation and aquatic facilities, affordable housing, and military projects, ORB is committed to making a positive impact on our communities through design innovation and management expertise. For nearly 50 years ORB has provided architectural services to communities in the greater Northwest, working with municipal, state and federal agencies on a variety of people-oriented buildings that benefit communities and respect the environment.

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