Member Highlight: Tonkin Architecture

Tonkin office dog

Mercy Magnuson Place










HDC appreciates all the passion, hard work, and dedication our members devote to the affordable housing movement. No single organization could make this impact and secure this progress alone. The collaboration and connection among members is the human energy that works to ensure all people have a safe, healthy, and affordable home. We want to show our appreciation and learn more about our affordable housing community through these member highlights as each member is crucial to achieving the larger vision of this movement. This week our featured member is Tonkin Architecture. Thank you for all the work that you do!

  1. What excites your team about the work you are doing? 

We love making a meaningful contribution to our community through the design of new affordable housing, renovation of existing affordable housing, the re-use of older buildings, and the creation of community spaces that help struggling people thrive within the community.

  1. What is a favorite office anecdote?

Back in the 1980s we helped transform Interlake Elementary School into Wallingford Center Our team was so enamored by the interior doors from the old school that we actually acquired the ones that couldn’t be reused and repurposed them at the Tonkin office. We use them as divider walls to break up the large open space into smaller “rooms”. Visitors often comment on them; we enjoy explaining their origin and transformation to anyone who asks. Although our team recently moved from Pioneer Square to Belltown, we love our old doors so much that we still use them in our new office.

  1. What upcoming projects, partnerships, and news are you looking forward to? 

We have been working on the reuse of the Sand Point Naval Air Station Barracks (Building 9) with Mercy Housing Northwest for about four years. The transformation of Building 9 into Mercy Magnuson Place will finally be complete next year. We are very proud and excited to have helped turn this historic building, which sat empty for twenty years, into new affordable housing for 148 families!

We are also looking forward to the completion of LIHI’s June Leonard Place in Renton early next year, which will provide 48 new apartments to formerly homeless families and veterans.

  1. What have you been most proud of during your time as an HDC member?

We are proud to have assisted with the Housing and Aging Forum held in November 2016. However, we are most proud of our contribution towards creating and maintaining affordable housing, especially with the current housing climate in our region. We are always delighted to see happy tenants moving into one of the newly constructed or renovated facilities we designed, and are inspired by the hope that having an affordable home brings to them.