By Morgan Welch
October 16, 2018
I’m so excited to make the move out to Seattle from Philadelphia! I’m originally from Annapolis, Maryland, and I’ve moved several times up and down the East Coast after college. I did my undergrad in architecture at Yale in Connecticut, worked for a few years in Washington DC and New York City, before moving to Philadelphia to get my Master’s in Architecture at UPenn. Even with all these moves, I haven’t felt like any of these cities were “home”. Since finishing school gave me a unique opportunity to try something bold and new, I decided to make the big leap to the West Coast!
My background in architecture has a little bit of a bunch of office and project types. My first job in the industry was at a very small firm, working with Robert Gurney Architect in DC. We had only six employees, so I got to be a part of almost all of the projects that came through the office, which were mainly super modern single family homes. I loved working at this relatively small scale, because I got to learn a lot about details, construction, and schematic design all at the same time. However, after a year and a half, I had the opportunity to make a jump to a completely different firm, and incorporate a different skill set into my work.
Side note! While in college, I studied Mandarin Chinese in addition to architecture. I spent two summers studying abroad in Beijing, and was amazed by the speed and scale of the architecture and development scene in China. I became fluent in Mandarin, and hoped to someday use the skill to work on projects in China. So, when I heard that Robert A. M. Stern Architects in New York were hiring, I jumped on the opportunity to work on Chinese projects while based in the United States. I worked for two years on huge multi-tower master plan projects in Shanghai and Hangzhou. We used a multi-Revit-model workflow that gave me a crash course in BIM and developing original Revit families. The aesthetic style at RAMSA is also much more “traditional” and neoclassical than anywhere I had worked, and these two years really gave me an appreciation of a much broader range of precedents and styles than I had held before.
For the last three years, I’ve been hustling to try to finish several things at once! While I was in studio at Penn, I also studied for (and passed!) all my AREs, and I worked part-time at a firm called Ballinger to finish my IDP hours. I will be so proud to be a licensed architect when I finish the work requirement for New York state at the end of this year!
Outside of work, I prefer to be outside in general. Growing up in Maryland, I spent most of my time outside on the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay, which gave me a lifelong love of nature and the water. I sailed small boats and canoed and swam, and when I was old enough, I joined the local crew team.
Rowing has been “my sport” ever since — but since I’m only five feet tall, and rowers need long legs, I became a coxswain (the person who steers the boat and yells). I coxed on the Heavyweight Men’s crew team all four years of college, and for several years after for Potomac Boat Club and for Wharton Crew. I’m excited to come to Seattle and find a new favorite stretch of shoreline.