Outdoor Café Seating Areas

by Tom Walker

Location: University Way and 41st / Ravenna next to Whole Foods

While I have chose to compare and contrast two locations for my study of outdoor café seating areas the primary site that I have chosen to analyze is the Solstice Café on the Ave just up from 41st. This site sits adjacent to the sidewalk and is only separated by a relatively open railing. The seating area is only accessible from the inside of the café and thus it would be difficult to use it unless you were a patron of the establishment. While it is a relatively small area, I did not see it overcrowded and the people using it did not seemed cramped. It is open to the outside world not by access but by its openness to passersby on the sidewalk and the sound, smell, and visual stimulation of the surrounding city and busy street it is on. This multi-sensory space is also designed within the context of Seattle, as it is also a covered space protected from the elements.

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Micro Urbanism

The term “micro-urbanism” describes small-scale urban spaces and design interventions that enable a wide variety of activities, events, processes and functions to take place. It also involves ways to reinterpret the urban landscape. As a class project, the purpose for creating this Guide is to bring attention to aspects of our everyday environment that are important but often neglected parts of the urban experiences.

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