Archive for the 'refuge' Category

Smoking Ban Activates the Urban Landscape

by Riisa Conklin

Location: various

#1. Beacon Pub

#2. Maharaja

#3. Finn MacCool’s

#4. Cha Cha Lounge

#5. The Bus Stop

#6. Alley Behind Atlas Clothing

#7. Linda’s

#8. The Wild Rose

Seattle’s nighttime personality has dramatically changed since the smoking ban of 2005. It quite literally pushed people out of their interior hideaways and onto the city streets. The places for movement in, out and along are now becoming places where people stop, stay and socialize.

Initiative 901 passed overwhelmingly in November 2005, requiring Seattle’s public places and workplaces to be entirely smoke free. The law also prohibits smoking within 25 feet of the doorways, windows and air intakes of these protected places. The implications of this new law are particularly interesting in terms of how it has manifested itself in the urban landscape, immediately transforming the sidewalks, alleys and otherwise static places into a new active terrain.

Some business owners have responded to the ban with new amenities for their smoking clientele. For example, in an effort to offer a sense of comfort for the smokers, the Stumbling Monk on E. Olive Way provides moveable seating and ashtrays on its sidewalk. Some businesses have even built exterior structures that extend 25 feet from their back door complete with landscaping and heat lamps like Linda’s on E Pine and The Beacon Hill Pub on Beacon Ave. S.

I documented smokers in the Capitol Hill and University District and Downtown neighborhoods on both weekday and weekend nights who, despite their grumblings of the ban, generally agreed that they run into more people and engage in more conversations due to the change.


Pepe’s Paradise

by Brock Monroe

Location: 525 14th Ave East

Pepe’s Paradise is a public garden created on a private space by a group of people living in an apartment building located and 525 14th Ave East on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. It is a text book example of the kind of space Mark Francis, Lisa Cashdan and Lynn Paxton describe in “The Community Open Space Movement”. It is now cared for by Gary “Pepe” Karkowski”.

Caffé Vivace on Broadway

by Tom Roberts


Caffé Vivace on Broadway consists of a tiny retail storefront, only 12 feet across, with an espresso bar and access to an indoor seating area upstairs, and four patio tables with umbrellas and patio chairs. The tables sit right on the sidewalk just to the south of the storefront. Since this side of the café is the parking lot for Washington Mutual Bank, there are no other storefronts here and so the tables do not block any other storefronts; they are divided from the lot by a small planting strip with an upright, twisted juniper about 10 feet tall and a large linden, and a nylon ropeline defines the back of the space and keeps customers out of the planting bed. Approximately ten feet of sidewalk separates the outdoor seating from Broadway, and there are bike racks, newspaper machines and a heavily-used bus stop near the site.

Does your stop deserve more?

by Andy Thi

Location: 15th ave. S. and S. Orcas St., Beacon Ave. S. and S. Holly St., Beacon Ave. S. and S. Lander St., 12 Ave. S. between S. Weller. St and S. Jackson St., Broadway and E Howell St.

The King County Metro Bus service is a big source for transportation in Seattle, Washington. People of all ages can use the service to commute anywhere that provides this service in the area. Even though it provides the same transportation service for everyone, it doesn’t provide the same image and service on the area of a bus stop. Provided service like shelter, garbage disposals, benches, offer items to read near by while waiting for the bus, and etc. All these provided services create different images for these bus stops. The services that are provided by the bus stop also depend on the amount of users that use the stop daily. So this is why these bus stops don’t look the same and provide the same functions it serves.

Connection to Place via Bus

by David Bramer

Location: address or street intersection 1st Ave. NE and NE 103rd St. Seattle, WA

The Northgate Transit Hub is one of the many bus shelter sites I focused on for the micro-urban environment. It combines the principles of the bunker and topography referred to in Chi’s article “an Introduction to Micro-urbanism.” Providing a place of refuge for passengers as shelter from the rain addresses the notion of bunker. This site also allows itself to be highly visible and accessible, making it effective according to Chi’s references to Sun Tzu‘s The Art of War. Multiple programming is one of the main principles behind Zukin’s concept of liminality. The Hub has a coffee shop/newsstand built into its south end, providing a commercial outlet, adding to the multiplicity of the site. The site has commissioned art built in to the design, such as two round mosaics placed in the sidewalks, under each of the main canopy structures. Hou, Rios, Francis, Cashdan, and Paxson elaborate on influences of private intervention on public realms. The art work of the bus shelters throughout Seattle are representative of individuals’ influence on elements in the open spaces. These shelters serve as refuge from the weather, connection points for commuters, and representations of public art and activism all while acting as microcosms of an entire city’s functions.

Just a Bus Stop

by Brian Gregory

Location: 175th Street & Meridian Ave N in Shoreline, WA

The site I have chosen is a sheltered bus stop in the city of Shoreline. The stop sits on the south site of 175th street, just east of the intersection of Meridian Ave N and 175th Street. Another block to the east is a major on and off ramp to I-5. Just behind the shelter is a park called Ronald Bog which is mostly covered by water, but does include a small play field and shelter. At the intersection of 175th and Meridian are a church and an elementary school. The church parking lot acts as a park and ride facility during the week, and most of the people parking here are using the bus stop. The bus stop is only serviced by a few routes, two of them are express routes that go downtown, and third is an express route that goes to the university district. The majority of the bus riders and park-and-ride users frequent the stop for the buses that travel downtown.

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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