Metropolitan Market, affectionately referred to by patrons as Met Market, is a gourmet grocer in the Greater Seattle Area offering hand-selected food items from around the world, with a focus on local flavors, brands, and suppliers. Met Market was founded on a culture of curiosity and respect for quality with a food-forward approach. Store shelves are stocked with unique treasures right beside the everyday essentials you’d expect to find in a grocery store—one of the many qualities that make a trip to Met Market a special shopping experience. The Gig Harbor store is part of a recent brand expansion (other venues have included West Seattle (Admiral), Magnolia, Mercer Island, and Sammamish). The grocer tapped Cushing Terrell’s team as part of their ongoing work providing on-demand design consultation, as well as full design as the brand rolls out store remodels. Notes architect Alice Wang, “Cushing Terrell’s design team has enjoyed working with Met Market to bring the high-quality grocery shopping experience to various locations across the regions that reflects the local characters in each community while bringing the tastes and flavors from around the world.”
Located in the Harbor Plaza Shopping Center in the bustling waterfront community south of Seattle, the store occupies and repurposes a former retail store, originally built in 1985. The approximately 33,500-square-foot store is a place to both shop and gather, providing an elevated shopping and dining experience to the community. The store’s design leverages a food-as-focus approach, conjuring a dining and restaurant experience centered around encounters with food and flavors. Fresh ingredients are featured alongside a vast array of prepared foods, and an island cooking station enables food demonstrations and inspiration. To reinforce this intent, the store features three distinct seating areas, including a mezzanine space that overlooks the store’s sales floor from the upper level. Each of the seating areas features distinct lighting, furniture, and décor to create a variety of dining experiences, from a quick meal or coffee break, to a setting in which to enjoy gathering with family and friends.
The interior décor and design draw on the use of warm wood complemented by blue, nautical tones to characterize the connection to water and the maritime history of the Gig Harbor community. To align with the shopping center’s existing character, the design preserved and featured the existing wood beams and columns to showcase the building’s original structural details. The exterior design highlights elements of the Met Market brand, while blending seamlessly with the surrounding buildings and retail shops in the shopping center.
In addition to aesthetic improvements, the building required system updates and modernizations. Met Market opted to invest in a new CO2 refrigeration system to help reduce the global warming impact of their refrigeration systems, and light fixtures and lighting controls were replaced with LEDs to help reduce energy use.
“It has been a joy to help bring Met Market to the Gig Harbor community,” notes architect Kara Eberle. Through collaboration with the brand, Good Food Holdings, KM Design Company, and the ownership team at Harbor Plaza, we were able to deliver a beautiful new store that will provide the community with delicious local food and a space to gather for many years to come.”
Cushing Terrell project team Kara Eberle, Project Manager Alice Wang, Architectural Project Lead
Consultant team Architecture: Cushing Terrell Structural engineering: Cushing Terrell MEP: Cushing Terrell Refrigeration design: Cushing Terrell Interiors: KMDesign Company (design vision), with execution support from Cushing Terrell Fixture Planning: Metropolitan Market Contractor: Abbott Construction
Photography: William Wright Photography
Selected products and materials Dal Tile, Ceramic Tiles Arizona Tile, Porcelain Tile American Tin Ceiling, Tin Ceiling Tile Caesarstone, Quartz Tile Custom Wood, Hemlock and Poplar Hussmann, Refrigerated Cases