BOLA Architecture + Planning, Seattle, faces the typical challenges of a new firm: "establishing identity, balancing growth and quality, expanding our client base, adding to our capacity resources, and maintaining a sense of humor," according to Angela Cassidy, office manager. "With the change in the economy, some clients seem to have become more indecisive and project schedules change more frequently than before."
BOLA specializes in master planning and historic preservation, primarily in Washington state. Typical clients are institutions, public agencies, non-profits, with many community groups. The studio has maintained a steady size of six throughout the year, not including architectural graduate student interns. Gross fees have increased to $470,000.
Historic preservation has been mainstreamed to some extent, according to principal Susan Boyle. "At this time, sustainability remains as much a goal as it does a reality. We are hopeful that building owners embrace these goals and find funding to implement them."
Current projects include the including adaptive reuse designs for the Cherry Parkes Building, an assembly of three adjoining, heavy timber and brick structures dating from the 1890s. BOLA is collaborating with Miller/Hull and McGranahan Architects on the current phase of the University of Washington, Tacoma campus.
Also on the boards is Seymour Conservatory, a Victorian-style greenhouse in Tacoma's Wright Park. BOLA is at work on the Sunset Building in the Ballard Avenue Historic District. The project scope included a historic review and condition analysis of a turn of the century building with severe fire and earthquake damage. The firm is designing an infill replacement building.
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