Rainier Boulevard ‘green’ building opens

November 2, 2010

The eco-friendly Rainier North building is the new home of four longtime Issaquah businesses.

The owners — James and Peggy Merrill, Tom and Jeanette Sessions, and Bill and Lorna Taylor — hosted a celebration and open house for the building Oct. 7.

The tenants include Merrill Design Inc., Tom Sessions Insurance, TEC Inc. and Darwin Webb Landscape Architects.

Merrill Design Inc. focuses on custom commercial and residential design. Tom Sessions specializes in insurance and retirement planning. TEC Inc. provides civil-engineering services. The landscape architecture firm specializes in residential gardens and landscapes.

The building, at 485 Rainier Blvd. N., is certified LEED Gold and includes a rooftop deck and garden, plus a parking space designated for electric vehicles. The property also harvests rain water and handles all of the site runoff.

New design envisioned for downtown park

March 16, 2010

Issaquah landscape architect Dar Webb re-envisioned Pedestrian Park. Downtown boosters hope the proposal launches a discussion about the future of the park. Contributed

Advocates for downtown Issaquah want to transform the space between Jak’s Grill and Mandarin Garden from a blah concrete expanse into a vibrant park for pedestrians, musicians and festival vendors.

Michael Johnson, events director for the DownTown Issaquah Association, asked Dar Webb, a landscape architect and a downtown tenant, to re-envision the space known as Pedestrian Park. Webb presented a park lined with trees, planters and public art.

“That place would be unbelievably packed if we opened it up like this,” Johnson said.

The proposal received a warm reception from the city Arts Commission when Johnson and Webb presented renderings and discussed the idea March 8. However, any proposal to remake the park must go through the public process for all city projects.

The proposal presented last week merely shows how Pedestrian Park could be improved. Any eventual upgrades to the park will look different from the renderings Webb prepared.

Johnson said he hopes the proposal will encourage business owners, city officials and residents to re-envision the space. Read more

Plan now for summer projects

November 10, 2009

A recent client of Darwin Webb Landscape Architects transformed this Sammamish backyard into a resort style outdoor living space. Darwin Webb Landscape Architects

A recent client of Darwin Webb Landscape Architects transformed this Sammamish backyard into a resort style outdoor living space. Darwin Webb Landscape Architects

Picture this — the extended family has gathered for a big get-together. The sun is shining; the kids are out of school for summer. Everyone’s having a grand time in the new outdoor living space and the accompanying landscaping is drawing rave reviews.

However, the above scenario could remain just a dream if the process to bring it to fruition isn’t started now.

Architect Dar Webb, of Darwin Webb Landscape Architects, said some homeowners wait too long before upgrading their house’s appeal and value with an outdoor project.

“If someone calls me in early April to have something ready by June 1 in time for summer, unless it’s something very simple, it’s too late,” Webb said. “Winter is a good time to start, more often than not, to have something usable by summer.” Read more