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Entrant Name
Board & Vellum

Design Team
Jeff Pelletier Matthew Hagen Ryan Adanalian Jesslyn Howard

Collaborators
Jason Legat, General Contractor : Model Remodel Tom Bykonen, Structural Engineer : Bykonen Carter Quinn Chris Rensch, Mechanical Engineer : Rensch Engineering Services Danielle and David Hulton, Developer : Dandy Properties Nicholas Hernandez, Artist

Owner / Client
Danielle and David Hulton

Ada's Technical Books & Cafe and The Office at Ada's

All Submissions > Scale 2: Building Scale

Ada Lovelace was a 19th Century writer, mathematician, pioneer, and the initial inspiration for Ada’s Bookstore and Café and The Office at Ada’s. The impetus for the project was to create the “book retailer of the future.” Achieving this vision required an adaptive-reuse and addition and a pioneering approach to the neighborhood bookstore. The challenge would be to convert a dilapidated single-story craftsman into a refurbished small scale mixed-use project. Our clients were dedicated to creating a balance of history and modern, sustainable and forward thinking, so we imagined a building like an aged book cover with crisp clean pages on the inside.
The primary program called for a technical bookstore and café, and presented a unique opportunity to juxtapose the welcoming nature of a traditional neighborhood bookstore with the transformative elements of modern technology. The design approach was to start with a clean, white backdrop, which complements the accents of salvaged elements. The program also called for a community room for sharing ideas and common interests. For more than 3 decades the 1922 building was the location of a beloved neighborhood landmark, and from our initial discussions it was clear that we had to preserve the unique character and history in our re-design, while adding a sense of the pulse of Seattle.
In lieu of building a new four-story project in its place, we were able to utilize over 60% of the original structure for building reuse and salvaged all of the existing framing lumber for key fixtures within the space. This significantly reduced the carbon footprint of the overall project and made use of the embodied energy of the edifice which curtailed any greenhouse gas emissions related to construction and transportation of materials.
The recently completed Phase 2, a second story co-working space called The Office at Ada’s, is leased to local entrepreneurs fostering small business and expanding the fast growing Capitol Hill community. The space accommodates 20 people working concurrently and takes its spirit from British computing pioneer Alan Turing, anchored by an inspirational quote as you ascend the stairs. To bolster this spirit, we incorporated both classic and new design elements. From exposed duct work to the vintage kitchen fixtures and found storage lockers, the space evokes a sense of history married to modern. The complete remodel has successfully resulted in nearly continuous use of the property and is a seamless addition to the local flavor.