community garden

The Sunset Substation: a new pocket park for Seattle

We are very excited to begin a new project for the Sunset Hill neighborhood to transform an abandoned City Light substation parcel into a pocket park.  Based on the input from the community thus far, the program is very intriguing:  a community space with an artist-in-residence caretaker, powered by a serious photovoltaic array. There may be more or different elements as the project evolves in the community design process, and as we navigate through various City agencies and funding sources, but fundamentally this has all the values we expound as a firm:  sustainable building, energized public space, housing options/density, and  an interactive process that invests people in the civic life of their neighborhood.

In 2008, I designed a structure with a similar program for a Dwell Magazine conceptual competition:

Crissy Field House

Set at the east end of Crissy Field in San Francisco, this Community Room/Exhibit Hall creates an anchor for a new sculpture park. The hall is a multipurpose space, more infrastructure than building--for public events, private events, exhibits, etc. The glass sliding panels open the hall to the public, the park and the views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

A small caretaker's residence is situated on the second floor, using the broad roof of the Community Room as a vegetable garden, eliminating the conflict between the public park and the private residence. The glass screen walls provides security, and electricity--the design on the glass is created with a photovoltaic interlayer, which powers the house and hall. Stormwater is captured, stored and used to irrigate the roof garden.

While this little conceptual project may help to inform the Sunset Substation, I'm excited to apply some of this experience in designing a real world pocket park.

Stay tuned....

Interbay P-Patch published in new book

p-patch-book-cover We are very excited to see this survey of Seattle's urban community gardens, especially since the Interbay P-Patch is included as one of the case studies.  The P-Patch is one of my personal favorites because of the impact it has had in strengthening this vital community, and has been instrumental in showing other neighborhoods how to implement their own community garden.

Further, the P-Patch really showed us just how satisfying working on these small pro bono projects can be. Since the P-Patch, we'll donated about 5% of our yearly output to pro bono causes, including daycares, parks, and community centers and hope that we'll have more opportunities to help concerned citizen groups visualize and build a better city.

CAST will be in upcoming book on pro bono design!

IMG_3789-webCAST has been involved in a number of  pro bono projects over the years, such as parks, community gardens, community centers, art installations, and smart development, and one of those, the Interbay P-Patch, is being published in an upcoming book on pro bono design by Public Architecture. This project was originally headed up by Nathan Walker, and after he left town, we've continued our involvement, adding a kiosk, arbor and most recently cool signage at the street.

We're really excited about the P-Patch, one, because it is a project that is near and dear to our hearts, and two, it can inspire more firms to offer their expertise to help civic and community causes, and more citizen groups to see that if they can dream it, they can build it.