June 22, 2024

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Robert Hutchinson Architecture converts 1950s Seattle building into events space

3 min read

A mezzanine and rooftop lounge are among the enhancements by Robert Hutchison Architecture to a former warehouse that has been reborn as a multipurpose venue called Stone Way Auto.

The building is situated in Seattle’s Fremont neighbourhood, known for its bohemian character.

1950s Seattle building
Robert Hutchison Architecture has converted a 1950s Seattle building into an event space

The venue’s name stems from the owner’s love of automobiles, along with its location along a street called Stone Way.

The adaptive reuse project involved transforming a manufacturing building dating to 1953 into a contemporary event space that can accommodate up to 225 people.

Converted warehouse
It also serves as a garage

It also serves as a garage where the building’s owner can work on his two classic Ford pickup trucks, which remain on display during events.

A primary goal for the project was to respect the building’s original character while updating and expanding it for a new use. Originally 5,080 square feet (472 square meters), the building now encompasses 8,100 square feet (753 square metres).

Event space designed by Robert Hutchinson Architecture
A primary goal for the project was to respect the building’s original character

“This multipurpose event and garage space honours existing historic conditions while making discrete new interventions that bring the building into the future,” said local studio Robert Hutchison Architecture.

On the front elevation, the team installed new windows and a modern garage door.

Mural
Murals and artwork in the facility were designed by Justin Kane Elder

A painted sign by American artist Justin Kane Elder stretches across the top of the facade. Murals and artwork in the facility were also designed by Elder.

Within the building, a significant move was the insertion of a mezzanine level, which was kept as thin as possible to meet ceiling height requirements.

Commercial kitchen
The ground level encompasses a dining room and commercial kitchen

The mezzanine holds a lounge space, while the ground level encompasses a dining room and commercial kitchen.

The team also added a metal-clad rooftop volume, which contains a lounge and bar and opens onto an outdoor terrace.

Mezzanine level
Interior finishes include metal siding and steel railings

“A set of two stairways connects all three levels, as does a new elevator and bathroom core,” the team said.

Interior finishes include metal siding and steel railings, which are meant to “complement the original industrial materiality of the building”.

Neon light installation
A cage-like neon light installation features in the kitchen

Concrete flooring is found on the ground level, while stained plywood was used in the mezzanine.

The kitchen is fitted with stainless steel appliances, an island with a butch-block countertop, and a cage-like neon light installation by Elder.

Skylight
A skylight brings daylight to the back of the building

A new skylight – framed with silver-painted plywood – brings daylight to the back of the building.

The project required infrastructure modifications, as well.

Because the building had unreinforced masonry walls, combined with Seattle’s location in a seismic zone, the team had to complete a tricky structural stabilization.

Their work was complicated by the fact that Stone Way Auto shares a structural party wall with a neighbouring building.

Stone Way Auto by Robert Hutchinson Architecture
Stone Way Auto shares a structural party wall with a neighboring building

The project also involved energy code upgrades.

“The project embraces an ethos of adaptive reuse that acknowledges the structural and material complexities of the space,” the team said.

Other projects by Robert Hutchison Architecture include a family home in Mexico that features an extensive system for capturing and reusing stormwater, and a Seattle house that sits on a slope and projects toward the harbour.

The photography is by Erik Johnson.


Project credits:

Architecture: Robert Hutchison Architecture
Architecture team: Robert Hutchison, Scott Claassen, Xiaoxi Jiao, Jackie Hensy
General contractor: Blindheim Construction
Structural engineer: Swenson Say Faget
Geotechnical engineer: PanGeo, Inc
Plumbing engineer: Rainbow Consulting
Lighting designer: SparkLab Lighting Design

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