Beautiful Workplace Design

GoCstudio re-imagines a century-old Seattle building to house digital product company

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US architecture firm GoCstudio has created an open office for a growing tech company that features original brick and timber elements, along with new enclosures made of ebony-stained plywood.

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The office is located within the upper floor of a 100-year-old building in Seattle‘s Capitol Hill district. Encompassing 14,000 square feet, the space serves as a second office for Substantial, a digital product studio.

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The company had occupied a portion of the floor since 2013, and decided to take over the full story when its neighboring tenant moved out. Local firm GoCstudio was charged with overhauling the entire floor, to read as one unified space.

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The challenge was to create a cohesive open-plan workspace which retained the feel of the original Substantial space and would maximize the existing character of the building – exposed brick walls, old-growth Douglas Fir beams and roof decking, and the beautiful warehouse-style window walls.

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The architects worked closely with the client to understand day-to-day operations, as well as the company’s love of hosting parties. Their research led to the conception of the office’s signature element: The Forum, an assembly area for social and business activities.

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A large aspect of Substantial’s working practice is the hosting of public and private events thus creating a large social space that could be multifunctional was an important factor in the design of the expansion.

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The social space was situated near the entry staircase and looks toward a large reception desk faced with a steel door from the old office. The room is illuminated by a large skylight.

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In the kitchen, the team installed two bars made of cross-laminated timber planks, along with several black dining tables with colorful chairs. Employees can be found working here throughout the day.

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Surrounding The Forum are conference rooms, with walls made of black-stained plywood and large panes of glass. Additional enclosures were inserted on the north side of the floor. A large portion of the office is given over to open areas with versatile workstations.

The space is filled with natural light, thanks to large floor-to-ceiling glass on three sides of the building. For the first time in many years, views are opened up through the building, from east to west.

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Other projects by GoCstudio include a low-lying winery that blends with Washington’s natural terrain, and a floating wooden sauna that can accommodate up to six people.
Project credits:
Architect: GoCstudio (Jon Gentry, Aimée O’Carroll)
Builder: Montlake Associates
Lighting Designer: KMJ Design, Kathy Justin
Owner: Substantial
Photography: by Kevin Scott
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Beautiful Seattle on a Grey Day?

…maybe not so much. You know it’s a grey day when your photo
doesn’t need a filter to convert from color to black and white.
Here’s to more rainbows and, hopefully sooner than later,
sunny days. The rain has to stop eventually, right?

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Beautiful Historic Homes

I love architecture and when I’m out-and-about I sometimes find myself stalking the neighborhood to check the latest and greatest home designs. With the building frenzy going on in Seattle and so many structures being torn down and replaced at such a rapid pace, I’m developing a new appreciation for the beauty of old homes and buildings. I’m personally a fan of modern design with the less is more approach but my heart holds a special place for authentic craftsman style homes in Seattle, the colorful Victorian homes in SF and Row Houses in DC. It amazes me how much residential architecture can define a city. Put them in a different location and they almost look silly. Hopefully more will be preserved so that a cities don’t lose their historic identity. Enjoy these images, one day they may become just that, an image.

San Francisco Victorians

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Row Houses of Washington, DC
Many of these are about 200 years older than the SF Victorians and 300 years older than the Seattle Craftsman Bungalows! Built long before western states even existed. Amazing they have survived.

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Seattle Craftsman Bungalows
With the Seattle building boom, sadly many of these are disappearing and being torn down only to be replaced with what I consider poorly designed modern homes and condos. I am a huge fan of well designed modern homes however the surrounding neighborhood and homes always need to be taken into consideration.

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Beautiful Reupholstery Project

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In a recent post
I gushed about my obsession with blue velvet and it just wasn’t going away so I decided to do something about it. Enter an old worn out but very comfortable chair that has been the favorite lounging spot for no less than 3 dogs along with numerous humanoids. Not one to let it go to waste, I decided to reupholster it in none other than a vintage blue velvet. Seattle has many wonderful places to shop but is very lackluster when it comes to fabric stores. Somebody please open a fabric warehouse, but I digress. This minor hitch gave me the perfect reason to visit MOOD in LA and lucky me I got there 15 minutes before they closed knowing exactly what I was looking for. Not realizing how huge it was I could have spent an entire day perusing the place if it weren’t for my single-mined journey to find the perfect blue velvet; albeit an affordable one.

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These images are before photos. A couple of things I discovered about the reupholstery business is; as a profession they are in decline but the flip side to that is the ones who are still in it have a long backlog of work to do and it’s not something you can “speed up”. My chair is at least 8-10 out before I can post after photos unless I get lucky and find someone who can do it sooner than later. I am so excited to see the end result.

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Beautiful Nature

Every time I drive down the freeway I notice the sign “Kubota Garden” next exit and I always tell myself I must check it out but alas I always keep driving….except this time I actually went and checked it out. What a delight! Don’t know why it took me do long but glad I finally took the time.