Urban Living

PARK(ing) Day 2017

PARK(ing) Day was two weeks ago and we're still reflecting on what a fun, community driven day it was. Special thanks are in order for our partners: Ragen & Associates for the beautiful plants and pots; Southpaw Pizza for providing pizzas at our potluck; Low Income Housing Institute for teaming with us on the benchtable, which found a home at their Georgetown Village.

It was a wonderfully busy day, topped off with a delicious community dinner and an extended presentation of Grace's TED Talk. Check out some of the highlights:

17_0915 PARKing Day 035 for web.jpg
17_0915 PARKing Day 009 for web.jpg
17_0915 PARKing Day 019 for web.jpg
17_0915 PARKing Day 026 for web.jpg
17_0915 PARKing Day 014 for web.jpg
17_0915 PARKing Day 032 for web.jpg
IMG_8042 for web.jpg
IMG_8056 for web.jpg
IMG_3172 for web.jpg
IMG_8048 for web.jpg

(Park)ing Day 2016

Sneak peek at what we have in store for Parking Day this year, coming up Friday, September 16 (yes, it's the same date as our open house!):

Special thanks to Scratch Deli, Elliott Bay Books and Ragen & Associates!

More information about the 50+ Parklets that will be popping all over Seattle can be found here.

Cheers!

-The Froggers

Architectural Inspiration at BAM

 image courtesy of brian driska

image courtesy of brian driska

Louis Kahn : The Power of Architecture, at the Bellevue Arts Museum, is hands-down the most inspiring exhibit I’ve seen in many years; and one that made me realize the breadth of Kahn's contribution to the field.  Covering projects of all scales, and composed of original sketches, photographs, film, and study models, visitors will get an intimate look at the development of his projects, as well as close collaboration with landscape architects, builders, theorists and engineers.  Highlights included the room-sized model of the tetrahedral Philadelphia City Tower project, space-frame models by Robert Le Ricolais, and working sketches of the projects for which Kahn is known.  Warning: this exhibit will make you want to sketch and build models.

Cheers!

 -The Froggers

Best Urban Gardens in Seattle

Schemata Workshop will be hosting a model-building workshop for youth aged 11-16 on Saturday, March 26, in collaboration with the Seattle Architecture Foundation about the design of urban gardens (more information here).  We'll be exploring the issues we faced while designing the rooftop garden with Seattle Urban Farming Company at our new space and cohousing community. This got our froggers thinking about their favorite urban gardens in Seattle.  Here are some of our staff's well-loved lesser known parks in Seattle we hope you get to visit.  Happy exploring! 


Abigail's Pick:  Seven Hills Park (Capitol Hill)
1514 E Howell St, Seattle, WA 98122

 "I feel like Seven Hills Park is a hidden gem, so I almost don’t want to share it, but it’s such a great spot. There’s a little community garden, some public grills and picnic tables, a few trees for shade, and an ample lawn perfect for laying out a blanket and sharing a picnic, readinga book, or just soaking up some late afternoon rays. It’s a little off the beaten path, and with Volunteer Park and Cal Anderson Park nearby, most of the visitors to Seven Hills Park live in the neighborhood, which makes for a cozy community feel even on the most crowded summer day.

"I feel like Seven Hills Park is a hidden gem, so I almost don’t want to share it, but it’s such a great spot. There’s a little community garden, some public grills and picnic tables, a few trees for shade, and an ample lawn perfect for laying out a blanket and sharing a picnic, readinga book, or just soaking up some late afternoon rays. It’s a little off the beaten path, and with Volunteer Park and Cal Anderson Park nearby, most of the visitors to Seven Hills Park live in the neighborhood, which makes for a cozy community feel even on the most crowded summer day.


Brian's Pick: Kubota Garden (Rainier Beach)
9817 55th Avenue S, Seattle, WA 98178

Kubota Garden.jpg

Grace's Pick: Belltown Cottage Park and P-Patch (Belltown)
2512 Elliott Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

 "I like that people hang out there. It can be quite lovely on summer evenings to walk through and see people picnic as well as working on the lots."

"I like that people hang out there. It can be quite lovely on summer evenings to walk through and see people picnic as well as working on the lots."


Margaret's Pick: Streissguth Gardens (Capitol Hill)
1640 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102

 "I love how tucked away this park is – if you’re coming from 10th it’s easy to miss the stairs that lead down to it.  The hillside gardens are really beautiful and have a wildness to them that I really like. There also is a pretty great view of Lake Union and the Olympic Mountains from the top."

"I love how tucked away this park is – if you’re coming from 10th it’s easy to miss the stairs that lead down to it.  The hillside gardens are really beautiful and have a wildness to them that I really like. There also is a pretty great view of Lake Union and the Olympic Mountains from the top."


Mike's Pick: Loveless Building Courtyard (Capitol Hill)
806 E Roy St, Seattle, WA 98102

 "The Loveless Building scale is outstanding along the sidewalk, as is the material textures, and expression of uses. The glimpse of the courtyard seen passing by the gate is very compelling, followed by the traditional sequence of compression of view in the tunnel, and expansion into the garden, and the tree canopy overhead."

"The Loveless Building scale is outstanding along the sidewalk, as is the material textures, and expression of uses. The glimpse of the courtyard seen passing by the gate is very compelling, followed by the traditional sequence of compression of view in the tunnel, and expansion into the garden, and the tree canopy overhead."

Mira's Pick: Waterfall Garden Park (Pioneer Square)
219 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

 "Waterfall Garden Park is such a secret oasis in the middle of the of Pioneer Square.  I love taking visitors there when touring Pioneer Square since the waterfall and lushness makes for a nice break from the noise and harshness of the city."

"Waterfall Garden Park is such a secret oasis in the middle of the of Pioneer Square.  I love taking visitors there when touring Pioneer Square since the waterfall and lushness makes for a nice break from the noise and harshness of the city."


Roma's Pick: Federal Courthouse Plaza (Downtown)
700 Stewart St, Seattle, WA 98101

 "While there is a lot of critique regarding the Federal Courthouse Plaza, and though some of it is valid, I just really love the space."

"While there is a lot of critique regarding the Federal Courthouse Plaza, and though some of it is valid, I just really love the space."


Will's Pick: Guerrila Gardens
Throughout Seattle

 "Guerilla Gardening happens when people garden in places where they don't have a legal right to utilize the property, like these little traffic roundabouts that you find all over Seattle.  I find it so neat that people have taken it upon themselves to garden wherever they can and to beautify their environment. It really adds to the city."

"Guerilla Gardening happens when people garden in places where they don't have a legal right to utilize the property, like these little traffic roundabouts that you find all over Seattle.  I find it so neat that people have taken it upon themselves to garden wherever they can and to beautify their environment. It really adds to the city."

Cheers!

-The Froggers

 

*All images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Google Streetview.

 

Seattle Asian Art Museum Part 2

The Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM) comprises Seattle's greatest gallery spaces and its finest art collection. The original home of the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), it was relegated to display only a portion of it collection -- Asian art -- when the first downtown location opened in the early 1990s. While it was welcome that SAM's collection warranted additional space and a new building, it is lamentable that those newer buildings (totaling two, including the 2000's addition) have perhaps drawn attention from the original Volunteer Park home, where you will find not only an incredible art collection, but one of Seattle's finest buildings. No single space better exhibits the vibrancy and quality of both qualities than the Richard E. Fuller Court, the physical and spiritual center of SAAM's collection. Bathed in daylight, it is voluminous and resplendent in rich materials and fine sculpture. Just off of the museum's entry hall (highlighted in the previous SAAM post: http://www.schemataworkshop.com/blog/2012/03/seattle-asian-art-musuem-art-deco-splendor-in-volunteer-park/), the Court is the museum's most architecturally ambitious space and the hub off which other galleries radiate.

 Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

The sculpture within the Court takes full advantage of the daylight offered by the luminous ceiling, the pieces glowing in a diffuse light that evenly illuminates and reveals the skill that went into crafting these ancient pieces. Many architects struggle with using daylight in museums, leading to often drawn shades or perpetually darkened galleries that make way finding -- not to mention the display of art work -- difficult. At SAAM the architects realized the importance of daylight in displaying art and organizing the building. The Fuller Court also features a piece specifically commissioned for the space: a hand wrought, iron gate whose motifs are quite a contrast from the streamlined art deco of the museum's architecture.

 Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

 Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

 Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

The entry from the main lobby into the Court has columns clad in the same green granite that one finds in the lobby. Note how the stepping of the entrance walls framing the Foster Galleries (second image down) -- along with the coved ceiling within the galleries -- emphasizes the perspective, increasing the formality of the spaces. Other deco details include the aluminum handrails (a nice reference back to the entry facade's aluminum grille) and the font used to name the gallery. 

 Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

 Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

Once inside the galleries, the quality of the art pieces exceeds the expectations set forth by the quality of the architecture. A captivating mixture of sculpture, furniture, textiles, decorative arts, and paintings almost overwhelm the senses with a richness of materials and delicacy of execution. Providing a harmonious union between the art and architecture, the care exhibited by the museum's curators in the arrangement of the pieces throughout the various galleries makes for a fulfilling viewing. Each art piece is carefully staged, with the lighting and context perfectly balanced to best show off the treasures.

 Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

 Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

 Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

Exploring the galleries one becomes aware of the thematic elements the architects choose to both distinguish and unify the galleries. The elements of unification are at a detail level, and include door trim in stone to match that of the wall base, as well a wainscot with cleverly integrates the heating and cooling grilles. The elements of distinction are the ceilings, that provide the greatest variety of expression from coved and luminous to gently arched, morphing as one progresses deeper in the museum. Being overhead and in one's peripheral vision, the ceiling's strong charter in any given room takes a background role and does not compete with the artwork, yet has enough presence to reinforce the building's design aesthetic as well as lending each gallery a unique character. My favorite ceiling expression occurs in the gallery deepest in the back, where the arches align with large windows that provide a splendid view to Volunteer Park.

 Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

 Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

It is of course not unusual for museums to incorporate the level of detail as shown in SAAM; patrons for such buildings have the developed sensibilities that allow architects greater freedom of design than in a typical commission. And though relatively luxurious by today's restrained architectural tastes, SAAM's compact size allows for a leisurely visit that not only affords experiencing of all the building and art work with our getting fatigued.

 Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

 Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

Copyright 2012 John M. Feit

Commanding the summit of Capitol Hill, the SAAM boasts a world class collection of art that is thoughtfully displayed in one of Seattle's most captivating buildings and greatest parks. And given that admission is free on the first Thursday and the first Saturday of every month, there is absolutely no excuse not to enjoy it soon.