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July 16, 2019
S. Dale High Business For Good Series: Tippetts/Weaver Architects
In our great city of Lancaster, we have a growing network of businesses that are thinking beyond themselves and are building towards an ethical economy for the betterment of our community, our needs, and our environment’s needs. Tippetts/Weaver Architects, Inc. is one of them.
Thanks to the S. Dale High Business for Good Series sponsored by High Foundation we were given the perfect moment to interview Wendy Tippetts, the AIA Principal of Tippetts/Weaver Architects, Inc. and an overall force of nature. At her firm, they have always focused on creating high-quality and artful design services that this city craves and we were excited to sit down with her to discuss how it all began for her.
Q: What sparked your interest in architecture?
A: It started very early on before I can even remember because my mother is a 3D sculptor. I was always around her work, in fact, I couldn’t even get to my bedroom because her work was always laid out from the beginning of the hall to my bedroom. The other thing was I grew up in a crazy house built in the 1700s, in a small town in Massachusetts. I was always intrigued by construction so being so close to a variety of different architectural styles made me fall in love with the process.
Q: What is Tippetts/Weaver Architects?
A: We are a full-service architectural firm. We’ve been in business in the city of Lancaster for a period of over 30 years. There’s such kindness here that you can’t find anywhere else.
Q: What has been the focus of your work?
We put an emphasis on adaptive reuse and sustainability. Re-using all of these wonderful buildings and all their embodied energy is probably the most sustainable thing we can do. We love the fusion of modernism in historic buildings so we always work with our client’s vision to pair the urban and small-town environment that is so prominent here in Lancaster.
Q: What inspires or excites you about coming to work every day?
A: Not knowing what’s going to happen! There’s only so much you can control. Our job is always changing, with new projects and new challenges. We always tell our staff, “If you see a problem or a challenge coming, run for it. Don’t run away from it.”
Q: Why did you take on the Fulton Theatre Breakout project?
A: To have the opportunity to work on the Fulton Theatre is a little scary. It’s such an important structure both historically and architecturally. It’s not a project we take lightly—it’s absorbed us emotionally. But we feel so honored to have the project in our office.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge in the project?
It’s really challenging in terms of design but it’s pushing us to learn and grow. We are creating a blue roof, the first in Lancaster and second in the Philadelphia area! And before you ask, no you won’t be able to go swimming in it and there probably won’t be any fish up there. This roof will absorb the rain and purify it before it goes into the stormwater system.
Q: What do you think the future of Lancaster holds?
A: Lancaster has enormous potential. Whether it’s building up and consolidating to preserve our surrounding agricultural landscape or even the birth of new development projects, the growth of our city has been fantastic and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon. It’s the individuals in our community who are enriching the city and making it thrive.
High Foundation’s mission is to align with community organizations to support positive change within areas of identified need. With deep roots in Lancaster, the Foundation is committed to the community’s growth and vitality. Throughout this year, we will be highlighting local businesses who exemplify these values and are examples of how a values-driven mindset, collaboration, and hard work can change a community.
Be on the lookout for more from the S. Dale High Business For Good series!