Kevin Scott

Seattle's ever-changing experimental gallery storefront makes the transition from music store to farm.

Olson Kundig Architects’ [storefront], Seattle’s homegrown gallery for urban experimentation, has been overhauled once again. Last month, it was a music lover’s haven, rekindling the cultural narratives of the world’s fast-disappearing record stores by inviting visitors to browse through neatly filed vinyl collections and stage listening parties. Their latest experiment takes advantage of the city’s thriving coffee culture, taking the form of an indoor mushroom farm nourished by nutrient-rich coffee grounds salvaged by local baristas.

Together with CityLab7, a Seattle-based design collaborative, Olson Kundig Architects have created an interactive installation within [storefront] that includes an impressive mushroom-growing tent constructed out of salvaged plywood and plastic, and a gathering area for educational workshops, lectures, and community lunches, all centered around a twenty-foot-long table made of reclaimed timber. Visitors are invited to tour the cocoon-like tent and witness urban farming firsthand in the form of 215 oyster mushroom growing bags, expected to eventually yield over 200 pounds of mushrooms, all to be donated to programs that feed local families.

Visitors can also observe how repurposed coffee grounds from nearby cafes (including Starbucks) become the compost that catalyzes urban agricultural practices such as this one. As Olson Kundig explained, “When the installation concludes, the team hopes to have sparked new relationships within the community, fostered dialogue about new business practices such as localized urban agriculture as a viable food source, and demonstrated the role that individuals play in urban food and waste systems.” This will probably be the first year Seattle’s art crawls will include a mushroom harvest.


All photos © Kevin Scott

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Life

    What Happened When Tulsa Paid People to Work Remotely

    The first class of hand-picked remote workers moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in exchange for $10,000 and a built-in community. The city might just be luring them to stay.

  2. a map comparing the sizes of several cities
    Maps

    The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History

    From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes.

  3. photo: a man with a smartphone in front of a rental apartment building in Boston.
    Equity

    Landlords Are Using Next-Generation Eviction Tech

    As tenant protections get stronger, corporate landlords use software to manage delinquent renters. But housing advocates see a tool for quicker evictions.

  4. Maps

    For Those Living in Public Housing, It’s a Long Way to Work

    A new Urban Institute study measures the spatial mismatch between where job seekers live and employment opportunities.

  5. animated illustration: cars, bikes, scooters and drones in motion.
    Transportation

    This City Was Sick of Tech Disruptors. So It Decided to Become One.

    To rein in traffic-snarling new mobility modes, L.A. needed digital savvy. Then came a privacy uproar, a murky cast of consultants, and a legal crusade by Uber.

×