The bookstore and cafe are divided by a wide front-to-back hallway, keeping the spaces distinct but cohesive. The high ceiling, skylights and playful mobile draw your eyes around the space. The clean white backdrop complements the salvaged elements in the design.
Architect Jeff Pelletier was able to utilize more than 60 percent of the original structure for building reuse, including the wood mantel, which adds warmth and character to the overall space. The design takes advantage of the high ceilings with shelves that climb the wall, providing extra storage for back-stock books.
In the fall of 2013, a single-story Craftsman was remodeled into a cafe and bookstore combo with a local, sustainable design that fosters community and commerce. The project attracted the attention of Historic Seattle and received the very high honor of their "Preserving Neighborhood Character Award" for transforming a humble house into an inviting community gathering place for a unique neighborhood business.
Whatever could be salvaged and reused was incorporated into the new design. The use of reclaimed wood throughout creates an inviting space for browsing, reading, exploring and dining. Overall, there was a significant reduction in the carbon footprint of the project, with low greenhouse gas emissions related to construction and transportation of materials.
To divide the bookstore and cafe spaces, salvaged doors form a partition which wraps an acrylic sheet core that's lit from within. Just like the exterior, this wall has the new wrapped by the old. The LED lights add a playful splash of color and movement to the space.
Ada's Technical Books & Cafe occuppies a remodeled home in the Capital Hill neighborhood of Seattle. The impetus for the project was to create the "book retailer of the future." Achieving this vision required an adaptive reuse design, an addition and a pioneering approach to the neighborhood bookstore. The challenge would be to convert a dilapidated single-story Craftsman into a refurbished mixed-use project. The owners were dedicated to creating a balance of history and modern sustainability, so architect Jeff Pelletier imagined the building like an aged book cover with crisp, clean pages on the inside. In order to connect the space with the street-scape, Pelletier added a raised front porch for cafe seating.
David and Danielle Hulton opened a bookstore named for Ada Lovelace, a pioneering woman in the fields of math and science. They wanted to relocate and knew that having a unique approach to the project was going to be key to the bookstore’s success. Retail can be a tough nut to crack, and to build a sustaining community of customers would be important.
The custom mobile dangling above the cafe eating area was created using vintage technical manuals and architectural drawings. The cafe tables utilize the shorter lengths of scrap timber to showcase scientific objects arranged under glass.
Designers at StudioHue installed inexpensive white shelving in this contemporary nursery to display all the great titles this little girl will enjoy. Books were arranged as a bookstore display, with titles facing forward for easy detection and to feature them as artwork for the room.
Connecting the cafe and bookstore with the co-working space in the rear building is an open courtyard seating area. The Space Needle sculpture was made by a local artist using salvaged wood from the existing building, and the original windows were salvaged to retain the character of the 1922 building. By reusing as much as possible, there is personality and history mixed with modern design.