Art Stable is an award-winning project in the Cascade neighborhood of South Lake Union in Seattle. Designed by Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects and developed by Point32, Art Stable includes ground-floor commercial and six live-work lofts (of which only two remain on the market). The project was built on an urban infill site — formerly a horse stable — and cleverly incorporates some of its work-ranch history in the design.
The street side of Art Stable has massive windows on a hinge that, when used in connection with corresponding windows on the alley side, provide cross ventilation to the units. These windows are operated by custom hand wheels in each unit.
In the alley, on top of the 80-foot hinge is a davit crane that can lift heavy objects into the residences. This design element, even more than the hand wheels or square hinged windows, is a literal nod to the property’s history as a horse stable. Picture a barn with a rope pulley for lifting hay into the loft for seasonal storage.
Art Stable will evolve over time as owners punch windows into aged steel to allow more light and views from the northerly facade.
Below the beautiful mixture of exterior materials, geothermal loops run with the structural pilings of the foundation to power the building’s heat pump system. This may be the first time a system of this kind has been used here in the United States. Other green elements include efficient radiant heating and cooling and support for rooftop solar and EV charging to be installed in the future.
On the whole, through the inventive use of concrete, steel, and glass, Art Stable has an industrial yet warm kind of vibe that pays homage to tradition while keeping things distinctly modern. It’s trademark Olson Kundig all the way. This month, Art Stable was honored with a 2011 AIA Housing Award.
Credit: (c) Benjamin Benschneider; Olson Kundig Architects.