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Ada's Technical Books and Cafe

Board & Vellum

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  • General Contractor: Model Remodel—Jason Legat
  • Dandy Properties—Danielle and David Hulton
  • Structural Engineer: Perbix Bykonen Quinn Structural Engineering—Tom Bykonen
  • Mechanical Engineer: Rensch Engineering—Chris Rensch
  • Nicholas Hernandez
  • Cindy Apple

Project Status


Year Completed



4,402 sq. feet
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Project Description

Light Commercial / Citation
When owners Danielle and David Hulton opened their bookstore in 2010, they centered their philosophy around three cornerstones of Seattle culture: food, coffee, and technically minded citizens. When they moved to a new storefront last year, they added a fourth: sustainability. The team at supremely local firm Board & Vellum (its offices are a block away) created a 4,402-square-foot retail space in a 1922 house that was converted to retail space more than 30 years ago. With a goal of updating and opening the space while preserving the original detailing, the designers incorporated any reusable existing materials into the newly renovated space. Old doors found new life as bookcases and signage; café furniture was reused, as were salvageable timbers and framing, resulting in what juror Josh Shelton called “a sort of artful clutter,” while Gregory Hoss appreciated “the playfulness and quirkiness.” “The handmade and very local materials make it specific to that community,” juror Cary Bernstein said. “It's visually innovative, even down to the furniture and lighting fixtures, and it's a very fully considered space at all levels of design.” —Katie Gerfen
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