Seattle, Washington
Three locations ranging from 10,000-15,000 SF
Client: Touchstone Corporation

NBBJ Design was selected to design a new prototype natural foods store for this Seattle based cooperative. Three locations were designed and built for this client. Craig Hardman was the Project Manager and led the design team for all three projects.

The project pictured here is the Green Lake store, located in a north Seattle neighborhood. It was the second project to implement the prototype, allowing us to refine it at this location. The general approach was to treat the food store like a public market with central produce stand and key departments taking up the perimeter. Built in the mid-1990s, the integrated signage and custom energy efficient lighting, skylights, and the use of sustainable, natural materials, helped to create a boutique shopping experience quite different from the typical grocery store of the day.

An existing grocery store and parking lot was occupying the site at this location. The new project provided a major addition and modifications to the existing building. The location along a major arterial was also within walking distance of a popular public park at Green Lake. The site and building design approach focused on addressing both cars and pedestrians.

The store was envisioned as a traditional “roadside stand” represented as a simple box with a big sign. The parking lot was treated as a scar in the neighborhood that needed to be repaired and reintegrated to heal the rift. We worked with a local non-profit urban ecology and gardening organization (Seattle Tilth) to design the planted material to soften the hardscape. A pedestrian path was created through the site that better connected the store entry with the Park. The site grading and the building floor elevation necessitated a major ramp at the entry which was integrated with the sign and new building addition to create the entrance. Operable garage doors contributed to the public market and roadside stand effect.

This project received a First Place award from the Institute of Store Planning and VM+SD International Store Design Competition, 1996.