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. A photo of a closed street in St. Louis
    Equity

    The Curious Tale of the St. Louis Street Barriers

    Thanks to an '80s mania for traffic calming, the St. Louis grid is broken by hundreds of bollards and cul-de-sacs. Critics say it’s time to get rid of them.

  2. A photo of the Notre-Dame Cathedral fire in Paris.
    Design

    Amid Notre-Dame’s Destruction, There’s Hope for Restoration

    Flames consumed the roof and spire of the 13th-century cathedral in Paris. The good news: Gothic architecture is built to handle this kind of disaster.

  3. A young girl winces from the sting as she receives the polio vaccine in 1954.
    Life

    How Mandatory Vaccination Fueled the Anti-Vaxxer Movement

    To better understand the controversy over New York’s measles outbreak, you have to go back to the late 19th century.

  4. Equity

    The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed

    Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.

  5. Design

    A New Plan to Correct a Historic Mistake in Pittsburgh

    A Bjarke Ingels Group-led plan from 2015 has given way to a more “practical” design for the Lower Hill District. Concerns over true affordable housing remain.