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Our cities are growing rapidly, and the ways we move through them are quickly evolving. VIA is committed to being at the forefront of these innovations. We provide meaningful place-based solutions to large-scale infrastructure, contributing to urban design, architecture and planning for a broad variety of public sector clients on the West Coast.

VIA is a strategic architectural and planning firm, highly networked across our three offices in Seattle, Oakland and Vancouver BC. Ours is an interactive studio-based practice concentrated in urban planning, transit systems planning and design, and architecture for urban mixed-use development. Our systems-level sustainable design strategies and community design studio set us apart from traditional architectural practice.

We are currently seeking candidates for the position of Project Architect in our Oakland/San Francisco office.

We are interested in exceptional candidates with strong analytical and communication skills who are passionate and involved in community building at all scales.  This person will work within our multidisciplinary team to coordinate and document civic, transit station, bridge, and other public sector projects with an opportunity to participate in residential projects in the future.

Experience Requirements

  • Registered Architect in California (or intern on registration path) with 7 to 10 years of experience
  • Bachelor or Master of Architecture degree
  • LEED AP Building Design + Construction preferred

Key Skills

  • Large-scale public project delivery experience
  • Strong experience in the management of collaborative multi-discipline design teams, including integrated project delivery experience.
  • Strong experience in the management and use of Revit 3D Building Information Modeling and AutoCAD. Fluency with production in these programs.
  • Strong skills in architectural design detailing and documentation.
  • Experience applying California Building Codes, California Green Building Codes, NFPA 130 and related codes.
  • Skill in the management and coordination of project documentation and preparation of construction documents and specifications.
  • Experience with applying Quality Assurance/ Quality Control processes and procedures.
  • Passion for high quality design and sustainable design.
  • Comfortable working with clients and extended teams or workshop settings
  • Dedicated team player, excellent communicator, possessing demonstrated skill at the execution of technically complex projects.

Salary and Benefits

Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Generous benefits, including medical/dental insurance, retirement fund contribution matching, and transit subsidy.

How to Apply

VIA is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, disability, sex, sexual-orientation or gender-identity.

Please submit cover letter, resume and work samples in PDF format (no more than 2MB please).

Email with “Project  Architect” in subject-line.

Send to: Katherine Howe – khowe@via-architecture.com

No phone calls or office visits, please.

 

VIA Architecture is a strategic architectural and planning firm with offices in Seattle, Oakland and Vancouver BC. Highly networked across three offices, ours is a highly interactive studio based practice concentrated in urban planning, transit systems planning and design and architecture for urban mixed-use development. Our systems-level sustainable design strategies and community-based design studio set us apart from traditional architectural practice.

We are currently seeking candidates for the position of Project Architect in our Vancouver office.

We are interested in exceptional candidates with strong analytical and communication skills who are passionate and involved in community building at all scales.  This person will work within our multidisciplinary team to coordinate and document multifamily residential and commercial public-sector infrastructure and urban design projects.

Experience Requirements

  • Registered Architect (or Intern AIBC on registration path) with 5 to 10 years of experience
  • Must be registered with the AIBC, or eligible to be registered in the province of British Columbia.
  • Bachelor or Master of Architecture degree
  • LEED Certified, Passive House Certified and Step Code experience preferred.

Key Skills

  • Dedicated team player, excellent communicator, possessing demonstrated skill at the execution of technically complex projects.
  • Strong skills in architectural design, documentation, and illustration including mastery of Sketchup Pro.
  • Strong experience in the management and use of Revit 3D Building Information Modeling and AutoCAD. Fluency with document production in these programs.
  • Skill in the management and coordination of project documentation and preparation of graphic presentation material.
  • Strong experience in the management of collaborative design disciplines, including integrated project delivery experience.
  • Thorough familiarity with the technical considerations involved in coordinating and executing wood frame multifamily residential, concrete high-rise residential and commercial building types.
  • Passion for high quality design and sustainable design. Experience with sustainable building rating systems an asset.

Salary and Benefits

Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Generous benefits, including medical/dental insurance, retirement fund contribution matching, and transit subsidy.

How to Apply

VIA is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, disability, sex, sexual-orientation or gender-identity.

Please submit cover letter, resume and work samples in PDF format (no more than 2MB please).

Email with “Project Architect” in subject-line.

Send to: Lauren Hamilton, lhamilton@via‐architecture.com

No phone calls or office visits, please.

For more information about VIA Architecture, please visit our website at www.via-architecture.com.

VIA Architecture is a strategic architectural and planning firm with offices in Seattle, Oakland and Vancouver, BC. Highly networked across three offices, ours is a highly interactive studio based practice concentrated in urban planning, transit systems planning and design and architecture for urban mixed-use development. Our systems-level sustainable design strategies and community-based design studio set us apart from traditional architectural practice.

We are currently seeking candidates for the position of Project Manager in our Seattle office.

We are interested in exceptional candidates with strong analytical and communication skills who are passionate and involved in community building at all scales.  This person will work within our multidisciplinary team to provide management and leadership primarily on multi-family residential projects but ability to apply those skills to commercial and public transit projects is desirable.

Experience Requirements

  • Registered architect with 7-10 years of project management experience
  • LEED-accredited preferred

Key Skills

  • Dedicated team player, excellent communicator, possessing demonstrated skill at management of technically complex projects.
  • Client relations experience and interest in business development.
  • Experience with project controls on complex building types, including scope, schedule and budget development, change management, tracking and reporting.
  • Passion for high quality design and sustainable design. Experience with sustainable building rating systems an asset.
  • Thorough familiarity with the technical considerations involved in coordinating and executing multi-family residential, commercial, and public transit building types.
  • Strong experience in the management of documentation created in Revit 3D Building Information Modeling and AutoCAD. Fluency with production in these programs and other drawing programs such as Google Sketchup an asset.
  • Skill in the management and coordination of project documentation and preparation of graphic presentation material.
  • Strong experience in the management of collaborative design disciplines, including integrated project delivery experience.

Salary and Benefits

Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Generous benefits, including medical/dental insurance, retirement funds contribution matching, and transit subsidy.

How to Apply

Please email resume in PDF with cover letter/email, and “Project Manager” in subject-line, attention Dan Nelson, AIA, dnelson@via-architecture.com:

  • Please include samples of your work, keeping total email size below 2 MB.
  • No phone calls or office visits please.
  • Applicants must meet minimum experience qualifications to be considered for these positions.

For more information about VIA Architecture, please visit our website at www.via-architecture.com.

VIA Architecture is a strategic architectural and planning firm with offices in Seattle, Oakland and Vancouver BC. Highly networked across three offices, ours is a highly interactive studio based practice concentrated in urban planning, transit systems planning and design and architecture for urban mixed-use development. Our systems-level sustainable design strategies and community-based design studio set us apart from traditional architectural practice.

We are currently seeking candidates for the position of Project Architect in our Seattle office.

We are interested in exceptional candidates with strong analytical and communication skills who are passionate and involved in community building at all scales. This person will work within our multidisciplinary team to coordinate and document multifamily residential and commercial projects with the opportunity to participate in public-sector infrastructure and urban design projects in the future.

Experience Requirements

  • Registered architect (or intern on registration path) with 5 to 10 years of experience
  • Bachelor or Master of Architecture degree
  • LEED AP preferred

Key Skills

  • Dedicated team player, excellent communicator, possessing demonstrated skill at the execution of technically complex projects.
  • Strong skills in architectural design, documentation, and illustration including mastery of Sketchup Pro.
  • Strong experience in the management and use of Revit 3D Building Information Modeling and AutoCAD. Fluency with production in these programs.
  • Skill in the management and coordination of project documentation and preparation of graphic presentation material.
  • Strong experience in the management of collaborative design disciplines, including integrated project delivery experience.
  • Thorough familiarity with the technical considerations involved in coordinating and executing Type 5 wood frame multifamily residential and Type 1 concrete high-rise residential and commercial building types.
  • Passion for high quality design and sustainable design. Experience with sustainable building rating systems an asset.

Salary and Benefits

Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Generous benefits, including medical/dental insurance, retirement fund contribution matching, and transit subsidy

How to Apply

Please email resume in PDF with cover letter/email, and “Project Architect” in subject-line, attention Dan Nelson, AIA, LEED AP dnelson@via-architecture.com

  • Please include samples of your work, keeping total email size below 2 MB.
  • No phone calls or office visits please.
  • Applicants must meet minimum experience qualifications to be considered for these positions.

VIA is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, disability, sex, sexual-orientation or gender-identity.

The Seattle Design Festival is already right around the corner! The Festival is a solid week of celebrating how design can change lives, put on by Design in Public and AIA Seattle and powered by a coalition of local designers, artists, volunteers and organizations. VIA has been an active participant in SDF for years and we are particularly jazzed for the Block Party on August 24th and 25th. This is where you’ll be able to see our staff’s efforts put on display as part of the large-scale design installations dotting Lake Union Park.

VIA’s installation is titled FUME and plays on the Festival’s theme of Balance.

FUME calls attention to fire as a balancing force between decay and growth. Human activity has significantly tipped the balance, leading to destabilized forest conditions that have caused heightened unpredictability and spreading volatility. Fire has historically played a part in stewarding our forests by clearing woody debris that fuels megafires and promoting new growth. The pine cone, common to the Pacific Northwest’s coniferous forests, is activated by fire, causing it to open and release its seeds. FUME uses its form to highlight fire’s role in creating a healthy balance in our forests while also representative of increasing global imbalance between seasonal weather patterns, human activity, and ecosystem health.

We’d like to share some behind the scenes shots with you below. Expect more updates as we approach the end of August and we’ll see you all at Lake Union Park!

This is the conclusion of a three-part think piece by VIA’s Dylan Glosecki about the potential reshaping of our communities by automated vehicles, today and in the future.

In Part 1, we concluded that AVs could change the individual’s relationship with the personal car, particularly reducing the need for individual car ownership. Part 2 determined that as a result of that changing relationship, AVs may expand both public and private transportation choices, whose potential implications must be monitored on the local scale. Part 3 concludes the series by briefly examining what policy considerations are necessary to eliminate policy conflicts.

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart and  Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum pose with a driver-less shuttle. The two municipalities are collaborating on the federally funded Smart Cities Challenge, which sees them proactively embrace AV technology with the aim of becoming the model cities for the new technology (image: Smart Cities Challenge)

 


Jurisdictional Conflicts

The key assumptions driving AV adoption are that AVs would transport people and goods further, faster, safer and more conveniently than conventional vehicles. The success of each assumption can be quickly complicated by jurisdictional limitations. For example, provinces/states typically have different regulations for conventional vehicle use (e.g. drivers’ license qualifications), which may be extended to AVs.

 

If one is slower or resistant to facilitate the mass adoption of AVs, there may be challenges balancing driving laws between AVs and conventional vehicles. Let’s say there’s two jurisdictions: Banana and Grape. Banana allows AV owners to use their car to get home after consuming alcohol because the owner will technically not be driving the vehicle. In Grape, the ‘driver’ is required to be able to intervene their vehicle at any time and must therefore not be under the influence while the vehicle is in operation, regardless if they are to manually drive or are automatically driven home. There are potentially serious legal implications to the ‘driver’ in Banana travelling through Grape on their way home.

 

It is likely that public agencies will favor a Grape approach into the foreseeable future for the sake of public safety. But if the future is to be truly driverless, then a Banana approach must eventually be implemented at the largest scale. Still, such a large scale transition is likely to take place incrementally as public trust into the safety of AVs grows. These implications, between the practical and the legal, are what must be ironed out if an AV future is to be as smooth as many would assume it to be.

 

Private vs Public Sector

In Part 2, we concluded that an AV future will continue to diminish the demand of individual car ownership. This is supported by the success of ride hailing services like Uber and the increasing popularity of car share services like Car2Go, which are strong indications of our changing relationship with the automobile. This assumption is given confidence by Uber’s R&D/investment in fleets of AVs, indicating a changing business model from purely a ‘bridge’ service provider between a passenger and a car owner, to conventional fleet ownership.

 

While we determined that there may be conflicts in development interests such as high density versus enabling sprawl, there may also be issues with having more vehicles on the road than we anticipate. This becomes especially true as ride hailing and car share companies provide even more convenient transportation options than automobile ownership. As Uber/Lyft invest in AV fleets, they’ll potentially be competing with public transit agencies as long as convenience continues to be the most important defining factor of utilization.

Alternatively, transit agencies may integrate AVs into their fleets, particularly for last mile services. In BC, Vancouver and Surrey are publicly testing ELA autonomous shuttles as part of a joint submission for the federal Smart Cities Challenge. As the two largest cities in the province, with Surrey particularly experiencing a population boom, the municipalities’ collaboration strongly suggests that the public sector can be thought leaders who are proactive in the research and implementation of AV infrastructure, instead of reacting to the market. This should result in a strong policy base

 

Competing Transport Modes

Beyond public transit, the convenience of last mile AV services may inadvertently result in competing modes of transportation vying for public support. Increasingly ongoing, for example, is a push to have cycling as a primary means of transportation within many high density areas and suburbs across North America. An AV future could potentially undermine cycling (and maybe even walking) as a sustainable transit option. If AVs are perceived to be more convenient than its human-powered alternatives, then this would not only affect people’s choices as individuals, but it may stall progressive policies designed to move people away from automobile dependence. This could be especially true for areas with comparatively underserviced transit options. An AV future may unwittingly support a similar type of automobile dependence if public transit, however implemented, is viewed as comparatively less convenient.

However, in recognition of the current and future demand and convenience of the bicycle as a suitable, reliable mode of transportation, ride-hailing companies have acquired bike share services like Lyft’s purchase of Motivate and Uber has already rolled out bike share service Jump, These multimodal options are being used to provide more complete mobility services with fleets of automobiles (eventually AVs), bikes, electric bikes and scooters available. Inversely, bike share service, Lime Bike, has rolled out car sharing services, further reinforcing the shift towards services offering a range of transport options. This integrated and flexible intermodal ecosystem is attractive to users based on convenience alone. Public transit agencies, with their limited budgets, structured policies and incremental service changes may fail to compete with the private sector.

All in all, as advocates for comprehensive and reliable public transportation systems, we must continue to strike the balance between public agencies, private providers and ourselves as end users. AVs are not a silver bullet to the private car or to public transit, much like Netflix isn’t a silver bullet to cable television or privacy. Rather than viewing them as evolutions of transportation and entertainment, respectively, they are perhaps better viewed as evolutions within the technology of transportation and entertainment.


Preceding articles:

Aerial view of UCSF Parnassus (image copyright UCFS)

University of California San Francisco (UCSF) leaders held a town hall meeting April 22nd 2019 to reveal and discuss the Comprehensive Parnassus Heights Plan (CPHP). The CPHP will provide the long-term vision for the revitalization and re-integration of the historic UCSF Parnassus Heights community.

This campus master planning project is being led by Perkins Eastman with stewardship from the Parnassus Master Plan Steering Committee. Kate Howe, a Director at VIA is acting as Project Manager and lead planner for the Perkins Eastman team, also including Walter Hood, MIG, Keyser Marsten and Fehr and Peers.

Read more about the UCSF Parnassus town hall meeting and the campus plan here.

We are t-minus four months away from Design in Public’s annual Seattle Design Festival 2019! VIA staff are already heads down on a new exhibit to bring to this year’s Block Party (August 24-25), which has moved from Pioneer Square and will now be taking place in South Lake Union at Lake Union Park. The theme this year, Balance, is generating some fantastic concepts we can’t wait to share with you.

Below is a look back at some of VIA’s most recent exhibits. Stay tuned for more updates in the months to come and we’ll see you in August!

Check out more photos from the Design Festival at DiP’s Flickr feed here.

 

VIA provides a breakdown review of the BART Market Street Canopies project. VIA’s team worked closely with BART staff to create the designs for two prototype entrance canopies, one for Powell Station and one entrance to Civic Center station.

New canopy as seen at BART Powell Street entrance.

Over the next five years, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in collaboration with the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (MUNI), will be installing new canopies at the BART/ MUNI subway entrances along Market Street in San Francisco. The BART entrances today are non-descript, unprotected portals with little indication for riders to know they are even there. New codes require BART to protect the escalators from the weather, which presents new placemaking and wayfinding opportunities while increasing the reliability of the station infrastructure and  improving user experience along the most important multi-modal corridor in San Francisco.

Market Street cuts a diagonal between colliding neighborhood grids beginning at The Embarcadero, located on the waterfront of San Francisco Bay, and extending through historic financial, shopping, civic, and cultural districts. The twenty four BART and MUNI entrances serving the four major stations on Market Street are a hub of activity day and night. Each of the stations reflect the confluence of the unique cultural  identities that permeate the street.

The City of San Francisco is simultaneously implementing a project called Better Market Street; a transformative urban design project reinvigorating the streetscape to anchor neighborhoods, link public open spaces and connect the City’s Civic Center with cultural, social, convention, retail and tourism destinations along 2.2 miles of Market Street. BART and MUNI are embracing their role in the project, designing the canopies to reflect the unique character of San Francisco’s most iconic thoroughfare.

 

Design Challenge: Balancing functionality and place making

The canopies need to provide protection from the elements, secure the stations at night when the trains aren’t operating, and not obstruct visibility at street level for safety as well as retaining visual access to the businesses along Market Street. With the introduction of twenty-four new large structures, the architecture had to be beautiful, unique, while not being imposing or in conflict with the other elements of creating a Better Market Street.

Maximizing transparency of the vertical elements (glass wall and minimized load bearing columns) presented a design solution that provides the greatest visibility and not obstructing the adjacent businesses. The ceiling soffit is separated from the walls invoking a floating effect creating a lightness of structure. The edges of the canopy lift upwards, creating a welcoming transition for transit users both entering and exiting the transit station. The uplighting of the curved ceiling creates a soft glow of reflected light that both identifies the entrances for pedestrians and provides illumination for security purposes. The sandy white texture of the ceiling eliminates glare and harsh reflections from the subtle bank of lights running along the top of the glass walls. This even and ample lighting make for a safe and welcoming space.

Canopy at the Civic Center entrance.

Integration of new formal elements into existing place

The new structures need to contribute to Better Market Street’s unified identity while celebrating the unique character of the different districts the stations occupy. To do this, the canopies employ elements of continuity and elements of distinction. Architectural and material elements remain consistent while distinctive elements of civic art, reflecting each station’s neighborhood context, is  integrated into the canopy ceilings.

The art program was a collaborative effort engaging the many business and neighborhood stakeholders along with city leaders. Representatives of the local art community, including SF MOMA and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, were brought in at early phases to help select the format and establish guidelines for art integration. The designs will be unique to each station while the material and methods used to render those designs serves as an element of continuity between the stations.

 

Kit of parts:

  • A floating, horizontal canopy – a simple and robust structure containing a roller shutter that completes the security enclosure at night. The curved, cloud-like shape of the canopy becomes a recognizable systematic element for transit and for Market Street. Its underbelly has been sculpted so it is easily seen while approaching it along market street or coming up from the station. Its horizontal orientation means it does not block facades of adjacent buildings.
  • Incorporation of art – the canopy ceiling becomes an element of distinction at each entrance – reflecting the cultural context with civic artwork produced by local and international artists. It is shaped to draw interest down into the transit levels below grade, to accommodate structure, and to provide modulation of lighting from daylight to underground.
  • The roof surface becomes responsive to the environment – an opportunity for a future green roofs providing local Tiger Butterfly habitat, drainage, and shade.
  • The “working wall” is comprised of 10’ glass walls which protect the entrance from weather, traffic, and intruders.
  • The “station identification column” acts as a structural wall with wayfinding information, integrating electrical and drainage elements, and an automated roller shutter for securing station access at night.
  • The “system information column” includes station information, a local area map, and dynamic signage.

Sustainability measures:

  • Long-lasting and low-maintenance materials were chosen for the design. Stainless steel, coated, laminated glass, and fiberglass reinforced polymer ceiling panels –less common, but extremely resilient to weather and damage.
  • LED lighting reduces the energy consumption of the canopy while maintaining an inviting atmosphere
  • Use of fabricators local to the Bay Area minimized transit of assembled materials, reducing the embodied energy of the canopies.

The City of Seattle has pledged to spend more than $75 million dollars on affordable housing projects throughout 2019. The plan, unveiled at a recent news conference with Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, endeavors to help nonprofits build around 1,200 new affordable apartments while preserving another 200 low-rent homes.

The press-event was held at Northaven, an affordable seniors community in the Northgate neighborhood of Seattle. Northaven had previously engaged VIA to develop a community plan for their growing tenant population – and we are excited to report that they are one of the recipients of this new round of funding.

VIA’s work with Northaven will build upon several previously-provided feasibility studies, with neighboring stakeholders, that examined the existing sites with options to integrate new development of various sizes and configurations, including the incorporation of an existing auto body shop. These exercises assisted Northaven in determining what they wanted and what they were able to build. The project was envisioned as a rich mixture of housing and amenities acting as a sort of ‘senior hub’ in the Northgate area.

Congratulations to Northaven and all the newly-funded affordable housing projects in our City!