Art Stable

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Art Stable | Notes of Interest

Art Stable is an urban infill project located in the rapidly developing South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle. Built on the site of a former horse stable, the building carries its working history into the future with highly adaptable live-work units. Both front and back elevations of the building are active.

The architects collaborated with engineers to design what may be the world’s largest hinge: a system designed to manually open large steel-clad art doors with a custom-designed hand wheel. The davit crane on top of the building can lift objects from the alley into units. Users can open the door up to 75 degrees by turning a large hand wheel. The wheel connects to a threaded rod, which goes through the building envelope and connects to a pivot bolt on the exterior of the building. The threading on the rod ensures that the doors can be held open at the desired angle and eliminates the possibility of them being blown open or shut. On the street-facing side of the building, 8-foot by 7-foot hinged windows open with the same technique, providing natural ventilation to the units.

Units are designed to accommodate flexibility in use and changes over time, and are zoned for both residential and commercial use. The shell and core of the building are built to last more than 100 years. The concrete structure is designed to take heavy loads, and structural and mechanical systems are exposed. Geothermal loops inserted in the building’s structural piles create an innovative and highly energy-efficient radiant heating and cooling system. This is one of the first uses of this type of geothermal system in the United States.

The use of simple, no-to-low-maintenance materials, including concrete, steel, and glass, echoes the warehouse typology of the formerly industrial neighborhood. Interior build-outs are determined by each unit’s owner, who can punch windows into the north façade of the building, providing a personalized balance between privacy and transparency. The building draws upon the architectural concepts of prospect and refuge, transposed to an urban setting.

Additional Credit

  • Acoustical: BRC Acoustics & Technology Consulting
  • Code Consultant: Kinsman Code Consulting
  • Contractor: Exxel Pacific
  • Developer: Point32
  • Energy Consultant: Patrick Hayes
  • Engineer – Civil: Coughlin Porter Lundeen
  • Engineer – Mechanical: PAE Consulting Engineers
  • Engineer – Structural: DCI Engineers
  • Envelope: RDH Group
  • Foundation Drilling: Kulchin Foundation Drilling Company
  • Geotechnical: ZZA Terracon
  • Gizmo Engineer: Turner Exhibits, Inc.
  • Mechanical Contractor: Hermanson Company, LLC

Photo Credit

    © Benjamin Benschneider
    © Point32

Art Stable

Jury Comments

This is an important everyday building type that sits quite nicely in its residential neighborhood but is unique.

The flexible framework can adapt over time; becoming retail when it needs to, and when the neighborhood changes, it can change as well.

The project is a modern update of the proven flexible and dependable multistory warehouse stock of the early 20th century.

A generous provision of a geo-loop within the piers provides “free” energy to all of the building.

More about Art Stable.

2013 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture Jury

  • Mary Katherine Lanzillotta, FAIA (Chair)
  • Hartman-Cox Architects, Washington, DC
  • Brian Fitzsimmons, AIA
  • Fitzsimmons Architects, Oklahoma City
  • John Kane, FAIA
  • Architekton, Tempe, Arizona
  • William Leddy, FAIA
  • Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, San Francisco
  • Philip Loheed, AIA
  • BTA Architects, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Robert Maschke, AIA
  • robert maschke ARCHITECTS inc., Cleveland
  • Douglas L. Milburn, Assoc. AIA
  • Isaksen Glerum Wachter LLC, Urbana, Illinois
  • Becky Joyce Yannes, AIAS Representative
  • Drexel University, Philadelphia

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