Art Stable

516 Yale Ave N Seattle

VAMONDE Seattle
Written By VAMONDE Seattle

Art Stable

In recent years, redevelopment projects in cities around the US have included countless multi-use buildings, designed to bring together housing, retail, and sometimes art studios in rapidly-developing urban neighborhoods. Art Stable, designed by Tom Kundig in 2010, offers an interesting perspective on this trend. It’s an “infill” project, meaning rather than renovating an old building, the architects designed this structure for a relatively small piece of undeveloped land in an otherwise crowded neighborhood. This small plot in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood once held a horse stable, giving the building its name. Units feature large, hinged windows and utility doors, as the website for Kundig’s firm explains:

“Both front and back elevations of the building are active. The alley-facing façade features an 80-foot-tall hinge topped by a davit crane and five steel-clad, hand-cranked doors that cover nearly a third of the façade. The system references a warehousing tradition in how it moves oversize objects into the building. On the street side, large hinged windows open to provide natural ventilation throughout the units.”

Perhaps most innovative of all, the building is fitted with “geothermal loops” that carry heat between the building and the earth deep beneath it, making its heating and cooling systems more efficient. It’s one of the first buildings in the US to directly access geothermal energy in this way.

Tom Kundig is an award-winning Seattle-based architect whose buildings can be found around the world. “From a tiny, elevated cabin in eastern Washington to a 15-story commercial headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Tom’s work draws heavily on context and place, whether urban or rural,” according to the firm’s website.

Cover photo: Jules Antonio, CC BY-SA 2.0 via flickr.

Seattle Architecture

Art Stable

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