Federal Way’s economy is constantly evolving. From a residential suburb, the city has evolved into an urban dense community. Situated between Seattle and Tacoma, its excellent location is behind its upward economic development. It also features stunning vistas and breathtaking views that attract many visitors. 

Helping the city’s economy grow further are various businesses looking at the area’s large potential. Assisting these businesses in setting up their companies in Federal Way are these nine outstanding commercial architects in the area. Members of the American Institute of Architects, most have collected awards from different institutions. They have also been featured in various publications. Each has an impressive portfolio to prove their excellence in the field.


Bassetti Architects

71 Columbia St, Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98104

Founded in 1947, Bassetti Architects is the most senior firm on the list. It backs up its seniority by constantly producing award-winning projects. One of its many awards is the 2020 Merit Award from AIA Seattle Honor Awards. It has graced countless publications including the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, West Side Seattle, and The News Tribune. The company’s affiliation with numerous organizations such as the US Green Building Council, the Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD), and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation further solidifies its industry credibility. 

Currently, the firm is headed by Lorne McConachie, FAIA. She is a graduate of the University of Oregon with a focus on creating engaging spaces that improve communities. A current member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, she is focused on preserving and reviving historical structures that contribute to social and cultural development. She is committed to building educational spaces that help child development. 

Existing for 74 years, Bassetti Architects is a proven expert in creating structures for different institutions including the educational, civic, and commercial sectors. A sample of the firm’s commercial projects is [email protected] Clinic. Located in FederalWay, the clinic was constructed for children’s health care. The clinic is 2,300 square feet in size, with a charming atmosphere meant to appeal to kids. Its main design feature is a graphic wall inspired by cells and blood vessels. The space is completed with a clean and well-lit reception area and private rooms for medical consultations and check-ups.


LMN Architects

801 2nd Ave, Suite 501, Seattle, WA 98104

Established in 1979, LMN Architects is a prestigious firm published in known institutions. Some of its most popular features are found in The New York Times, ARCHITECT, and ArchDaily. Its popularity comes from its well-executed projects and dedication to uplifting communities. It provides exceptional services in architecture, interior and urban design, as well as design research. For this reason, it received many accolades including the 2016 Architecture Firm Award from the AIA. 

One of the firm’s perfectly-executed projects in Federal Way is the Federal Way Performing Arts and Events Center. Providing architecture and interior design services for the project, the firm produced a facility that serves as a cultural center. It contains a multipurpose theater, a conference center, and a hotel that caters to both the public and private sectors. The project has been completed using sustainable methods, earning it a LEED New Construction Silver certification. 

Behind the company’s stellar work is its team of professionals. It is composed of multiple principals. These principals are members of the AIA and are LEED Accredited Professionals.


JPC Architects

909 112th Ave NE, Suite 206, Bellevue, WA 98004

JPC Architects designs for the future. A specialist in building workplaces, the firm has built astounding office, medical, and retail centers all over Bellevue and surrounding areas. Established in 1986, the firm uses its expertise in interior design and architecture to fulfill amazing commercial projects. These projects have earned features in different magazines such as the Puget Sound Business Journal, World Architecture News, and Seattle Magazine. 

In Federal Way, a sample of the firm’s commercial projects is The Sanctuary – The Nest / Falcon and Osprey Lobbies. The firm designed three HUB buildings with impressive features. The Nest, one of the three buildings, features a treehouse built for bird watching. Inspired by the Pacific Northwest architecture, the facilities showcase unpainted wood mixed with glass and steel. The facilities have a contemporary yet very natural look that blends well with its surroundings. The lobbies in the three HUB buildings feature a fireplace and a fire stair that connects the ground and upper floors. The company has built a center that fosters collaboration and connection with the facilities’ end users. 

JPC Architects’ success is due to the collaboration of three principals: Ann Derr, Mark Peterson, and Char Patterson. Derr, LEED AP, received her Master’s Degree in Architecture from The University of Texas at Austin.  Peterson graduated from Washington State University in 1985 and has 25 years of industry experience. Patterson, another Washington State University alumnus, has licenses in different states, including Washington, Nevada, Texas, and New Jersey.


BCRA

2106 Pacific Ave, Suite 300, Tacoma, WA 98402

With projects throughout Washington, Texas, and Oregon, BCRA’s success is attributed to its stellar team. Its team members have expertise in various disciplines including architecture, civil and structural engineering, experimental environments, and landscape architecture. It is an expert in both commercial and residential architecture. 

The firm’s exceptional team is led by Doug Oberst and Stuart Young. Both LEED AP, Oberst and Young are dedicated to creating sustainable designs. Oberst is a graduate of Washington State University and the University of Copenhagen. For over 21 years, he has built many retail, multifamily, and office spaces. Young has 25 years of experience in the field. He currently serves as a board member of the University of Washington-Tacoma’s Urban Studies Advisory Board. Under Young and Oberst’s leadership, the firm has collected many recognitions including the 2019 Merit Award from The Washington Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (WASLA). 

One of the firm’s numerous projects in Federal Way is the Telecare Residential Treatment Facility. The firm provided architecture and interior design, structural engineering, experimental environments, as well land use planning services for the project. Totaling 12,000 square feet, the facility is a mental healthcare center with 16 beds for patients. Meant to treat and give support to individuals with mental health problems, the center is built to be as welcoming and calming as possible. The firm used natural light tones and natural materials like exposed wood beams to give a relaxing, open feeling to the space.


The Driftmier Architects

7983 Leary Way NE, Redmond, WA 98052

Established in 1980, The Driftmier Architects promotes a comfortable and profitable experience for its commercial clients. An expert in a full spectrum of services, the firm maintains communication with clients to deliver excellent customer service. The majority of its projects come from repeat clients, attesting to the firm’s client-oriented approach. Clients from the retail, financial, and even residential sectors are extremely satisfied with the firm’s work.

For over four decades, the firm has built and designed over 6000 facilities in Redmond and surrounding areas. One of its projects is WAFD Bank in Federal Way. Located in a busy area, the firm created the new 2,700-square-foot branch to be as open as possible. Its storefront is made with floor-to-ceiling glass panels inviting customers in. Applying the bank’s signature color palette, the firm designed a warm, contemporary space. The bank’s interior features an industrial design, with exposed frames and beams unique to other banks anywhere in the world. 

For the company’s outstanding works, it has earned features in several publications including the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, Columbia Basin Herald, and The Wenatchee World. Behind the firm’s continuous success are Rick Driftmier, AIA, and Lee Driftmier. Rick Driftmier has an environmental design and a business administration degree from the University of Washington. Lee Driftmier is an alumnus of Yale University with 14 years of experience in construction administration and design.


McGranahan Architects

2111 Pacific Ave, #100, Tacoma, WA 98402

McGranahan Architects has been practicing thoughtful architecture for over 50 years. It has established itself as an industry leader by creating inspiring spaces for working and living. Founded in 1968, the firm’s specialization in educational projects showcases its desire to promote meaningful learning. For the firm, every project has a story; this story revolves around the end-users. Inspired by these people, the firm builds exceptional schools, offices, and mixed-use facilities in Washington. 

In Federal Way, one of the firm’s biggest projects is the Davita Corporate Business Office. The 160,500-square-foot building has been completed through the collaboration of the firm’s fantastic architects and designers, the majority of which are LEED APs. Because of the members’ environment-conscious approach, the project received a LEED Gold certification. The building contains offices for the health company’s team members, as well as conference and training areas. Communal spaces are included in the design to foster collaboration and team connection within the office. Floor-to-ceiling glass panels are used to maximize natural light. Outdoors, the building is surrounded by evergreen trees seen from inside. 

The firm’s inspiring outputs have gained several recognitions including the 2021 Merit Award from the AIA Southwest Washington Chapter Honor Awards. Its projects have graced publications including the South Sound Business, Green Building & Design, and The News Tribune. Supervising the firm is Christopher J. Lilley, AIA, managing principal. Lilley has architectural studies and building construction degrees from the University of Washington. He has been in the industry for over three decades.


ARC Architects

119 S Main St, Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98104

Serving Seattle and surrounding areas, ARC Architects’ greatest resource is its people. Composed of four partners, the firm applies an integrated design process that uses each member’s strength. Paul Ross Curtis and Emily Wheeler, both LEED APs, bring in their expertise in sustainable design to the table. Jeff Wandasiewicz, AIA, and Daniel Podoll work hand-in-hand with the rest of the partners to create fresh design solutions. Together, they provide the best architectural services for the education, healthcare, and mixed-use sectors. 

A sample of a project accomplished through collaboration is the KCHA Southridge Senior Housing Renovation. Located in Federal Way, the firm worked with the King County Housing Authority to transform a 1960s structure into a modern 28,700-square-foot apartment building. The exterior renovation amounted to $1,025,000; it’s worth it. The building has an energy-efficient design that provides insulation while solving moisture issues. Maximizing natural light, the firm included large windows in the design. 

For its impressive works, the firm has graced Kitsap Daily News, The Wenatchee World, and Peninsula Daily News. Established in 1976, the firm has collected several accolades including the 2019 NAIOP Community Impact Award.


Jackson | Main Architecture

311 1st Ave, South Seattle, Seattle, WA 98104

Jackson | Main Architecture (JMA) is a result of the joining of forces of two established firms. For this reason, though the firm officially began in 2015, it has a massive collection of projects from various institutions. Its portfolio includes the retail, hospitality, healthcare, and mixed-use industries. Currently serving Washington and Missouri, the firm provides unbeatable architecture, master planning, and interior design services. In providing these services, it uses the strong points of each team member. These members are headed by Robin Murphy, AIA, LEED AP. Murphy uses his knowledge from the University of Washington and 25 years of industry experience to put the firm at the top of its game. 

In a short amount of time, the firm has collected accolades. This includes the 2017 Grand Award for Construction Excellence from the AGC Build WA Awards. It has been featured in various magazines including the Journal of Business and Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. The firm is proud of its achievements and is especially known for its finished projects, which are consistently enjoyed by clients. 

In Federal Way, one of the firm’s commercial projects is the Evergreen Eye Center. Providing renovation design services, JMA created the clinic with the health company’s brand in mind. Using a white and gray color scheme, the firm designed a modern clinic that exudes warmth and professionalism at the same time. The property contains six exam rooms and a testing area. One of the most crucial parts of the design is the lobby which serves as a waiting area. To make it a comfortable experience for patients, the firm designed the lobby to utilize natural light. Aside from the Federal Way location, the firm also built another Evergreen Eye Center in Burien, Washington.


UPWARD | Architecture and Interiors

815 Seattle Blvd. S, Suite 321, Seattle, WA 98134

Featured in the Daily Journal of Commerce 2018 issue, UPWARD Architecture & Interiors is the youngest firm on the list. Established in 2016, its instant industry success comes from a collaborative approach. Employing the skills and creativity of a team of professionals, the firm provides smart design solutions for clients in Seattle and surrounding areas. It has provided exceptional services in the hospitality, recreation, retail, and industrial sectors. 

Part of the firm’s impressive works is Westland Distillery. The project showcases the firm’s expertise in adaptive reuse. It transformed a 1918 warehouse into a modern whiskey production facility. This award-winning project combines the use of steel and timber inspired by PNW architecture. The facility includes a 5,000-liter mash house, a still room, plus a whiskey library and tasting bar. The massive facility holds around 100 barrels in the barrel room as well as staff offices. 

UPWARD Architecture & Interiors’ upward movement in the industry is due to the guidance of Mark Ward, founder of the firm. Ward finished his master’s degree from the University of Washington. Before starting his firm, he collected 16 years of industry experience. He has worked in different parts of the US including Oregon and California.