North Bank Playground Construction Officially Underway

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Construction is officially underway at the North Bank Playground site at Spokane’s Riverfront Park, with LaRiviere leading the way as the general contractor. Demolition of the operations & maintenance building makes room for the new structure, and a blank slate is ready for the playground construction. This has been a huge effort for the BWA Landscape Architecture team, and we can’t wait to see their vision come to life.

What is the Visioning Process?

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We sat down with Michelle Widner, IIDA, NCIDQ, to learn more about the visioning sessions that she leads with some of our clients.

Michelle, what is the purpose of a visioning workshop at the start of the design process?
MW: We want to walk into a project with an open mind so we have the ability to understand a client’s needs, concerns and issues before the design begins. A visioning session is a way to connect with a client and “dig deep” to get know who they are and what they want to accomplish. Sometimes we have a client who has a very clear vision of who they are and what they are doing – in this case the exercise is more for our benefit to absorb that information. Other times, a client may be struggling how to articulate their company’s vision, and this encourages them to come together and define their ideas and get on the same page. Also, more often than not, clients identify needs and goals they didn’t know they had as a direct result of this process.  In addition, by having a group express their thoughts and ideas, it helps get buy-in and build camaraderie.  Most importantly (for us!), it gives us the opportunity to bond and build trust with our clients.
What kind of client would benefit from a visioning/branding session?
MW: Any client or project type can benefit from the process. It can be as simple as an informal meeting discussing the client’s goals and aspirations. The term “visioning session” can sound intimidating. But all it is, in a nutshell, is discovering the client’s needs (known and unknown) and building trust. For interiors, it is especially helpful for clients who desire a unique aesthetic and/or program needs or want branded environments.
How does this process support/combine with the other services the interior design team provides? How will it influence design?
MW: First and foremost, design is problem-solving. The sooner we identify the issues important to the client, the less time we waste in the design process revising and re-revising drawings. If we address all the problems and concerns prior to putting pen to paper, the more time (and money!) we save the client.  By discovering what the project is and what they want to achieve, we can understand the client at their deepest level and be proactive in our designs.

Pictured: Washington State Employee’s Credit Union revitalized its Sprague branch in 2019, revealing a member-focused space that reflects their current brand. We love the bright and inviting result. Bernardo Wills Architects provided architecture and interior design services for this project.

Exotic Metals Expansion

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This Bernardo Wills Architects project construction update shows the Exotic Metals expansion in Airway Heights via drone! Walker Construction is doing a great job, despite the winter weather, with concrete tilt-up walls up and ongoing roof installation.

Numerica Credit Union Headquarters

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Completed in 2017, Numerica Credit Union’s headquarter expansion project is a fantastic example of the importance of our in-house interior design team. As Numerica Credit Union’s business services division grew, they knew additional space was required for further growth. The 18,000 square foot expansion revitalized previously unused space to house the new business services and home loan center offices. It included 20 offices, 20 open-concept work areas, three conference rooms, and business client waiting areas. The final product reflected the Numerica Credit Union brand values and created a functional and creative workspace for their employees.

Before and After: Fresh Soul

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Everyone loves a before and after! Fresh Soul, a non-profit soul food restaurant in East Spokane, needed some help reviving a building that sat vacant for almost 40 years. The new color scheme is indicative of the energy and life Fresh Soul brings to the neighborhood. They operate as a nonprofit through the Spokane Eastside Reunion Association and run a teen job-training program for youth ages 14 to 18 to help them obtain entry-level positions in the industry. Bernardo Wills Architects provided interior design and architectural services for this bright, joyful project. We love their mission (and their food).

Here’s the before:

And here are the after photos!