08.27.2016 — Since 2014, MKA has chosen a Community Service project to tackle in the Greater Seattle area. The year starts with a call for MKA volunteers and the selection of an overall project manager. Brainstorming and project selection happens next, and then the design teams go to work creating detailed plans, supply lists, and much more – in anticipation for a well-coordinated build day.
For this year’s project we planned several major improvements to Dr. Jose Rizal Park in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle. The park contains an orchard perched along the west slope, overlooking downtown. City Fruit, a non-profit organization, along with the park steward and volunteers maintain the orchard and harvest the fruit to benefit the Beacon Hill community and for use in local food banks.
MKA’s task was to extend an existing trail for better access to the orchard; build secure, on-site storage boxes for tools used in the maintenance of the orchard; and to build a 3-step composting system for fallen apples. After six months of planning and design, 40+ MKA volunteers were on-hand on August 27th to complete the project.
Take a look at our short video here to see what the team was able to build in one day! Our thanks to Seattle Works for assisting us with logistics and coordination for the third year running!
To find out more about the rich history of the park and its orchard, visit here.
» MKA’s 2016 Community Service Project
07.28.2016 — Food Frenzy for 2016 is a wrap. MKA participated in two weeks of fun events — all to raise money for Food Lifeline. Activities included everything from bake sales to trivia competitions. One office favorite was the “Cardboard Cutout Competition.” Staff donated dollars to send a large scale cutout to loom over their co-workers desk. Last year it was Justin Bieber, this year it was a T-Rex! And new for this year was the “Guess the MKA Baby Competition.” 25 photos were submitted to the contest. Our BIM Technical Lead, Ben Thomas, was the winner — identifying 16 of his co-workers from their baby photos!
MKA’s staff raised $8,016.93, far exceeding our 2015 totals. Staff also helped sort, pack, weigh, and stack nearly 2800 lbs. of food at the Food Bank Volunteer Night.
Thanks to Justin Grasse, Jessica Haas, Abby Taylor, Angela Bigelow, Kunal Vaswani, Megan Hays, Travis Corigliano, Eleanor Reynolds, Mandy Chen, Krzysztof Zaleski, Blake Doepker, and Michael Murphy for organizing the individual activities and to ALL our MKA staff for their participation.
» Food Frenzy 2016
01.08.2016 — The ACE Mentor Program for 2015-2016 is in full swing. High school students from the Seattle and Eastside areas are working with industry mentors to learn about architecture, engineering, and construction. MKA is participating as a mentor firm again this year and has 19 MKA staff participating!
This year’s project is to design a high-rise residential building located on Ninth and Virginia in downtown Seattle. Teams are given criteria for the building’s program that includes mixed use space, multiple floors of residential units and four stories of underground parking. The teams have 15 weeks to come up with their schemes. The final presentations will take place on May 25th. Good luck to all the teams!
To learn more about the ACE Mentor Program in Washington, click here.
» ACE Mentor Program 2016
01.07.2016 — Ending 2015 with the giving spirit, MKA staff raised $1,153.00 for Treehouse, a Seattle organization that supports foster children, teens and their families. Donations were collected online and also through a multi-day bake sale. Three boxes of toys and clothes were also delivered to the Treehouse Warehouse just in time for Christmas. Thanks to everyone who participated to support Treehouse!
» MKA’s Giving Spirit