This adaptive re-use project for cannabis retailer The Reef is located on a prominent corner of Capitol Hill, Seattle’s longtime counterculture hub.
“With The Reef, we were intrigued by the challenge of this new project typology and the aspirations of the ownership to elevate the design experience of this sort of retail use. Additionally, the thought of creating this store in the historical context of Capitol Hill – a place where experimentation and new ideas have shaped our city’s culture – was compelling.” –Kirsten R. Murray, FAIA, Design Principal
Inspired by the owner’s aspirations to elevate the in-store cannabis delivery model and create a space referencing the aquatic inspirations of the Pacific Northwest, the design emphasizes ideas of transparency and self-guided discovery while exploring concepts of immersion and underwater experience. Three large peninsula displays evoke geologically-shaped rock formations, topped with large glass vitrines that showcase cannabis in its raw state. Emphasizing budtender-to-consumer interaction, the displays allow budtenders to move in and around the space to engage customers. Bubble-like window displays bring the aquatic emphasis to the street-facing façade, which also features murals of Jacques Cousteau and an underwater scene by Seattle street artist Weirdo. Inside, a material palette of glass, reclaimed driftwood and concrete with sand-like aggregates completes the exploration of water and submersion.
“We wanted to support the owner’s vision of making a space that referenced the natural and aquatic inspirations in our region through materiality and an emphasis on transparency. Also, the architecture, displays and layers of art evoke ideas of discovery and hands-on creativity akin to an underwater experience.” –Kirsten R. Murray, FAIA, Design Principal
Project Team: Kirsten R. Murray, FAIA, Design Principal; Jeff Ocampo, LEED® AP, Project Manager; Sasha Leon, Architectural Staff
Key Consultants: DCI, Structural Engineer; O- Lighting, Lighting Design; Guy Davis, GMD Custom Design, General Contractor