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May 10, 2017

Design firms start co-working on Pike

Journal Staff Reporter

Photo by Kate Murphy [enlarge]
The space above Elysian Brewery was designed by ORA and built by Braseth Construction. Co-working lets the firms share equipment and save money.

A group of design firms and a startup will hold an open house from 5 to 8 p.m. tomorrow in their new co-working space at 1221 E. Pike St. on Capitol Hill in Seattle.

The architecture firms are ORA, Framework, Fivedot, Paul Michael Davis Design, Daydesignstudio and Arke Design Studio. They are joined by Shelf Engine, a startup focused on reducing food waste at groceries.

The 3,300-square-foot space above Elysian Brewery was designed by ORA and built by Braseth Construction. ORA moved there last December, and the other firms followed. The newest is Framework, which is an architecture and urban design firm focused on cultural placemaking.

Together, the firms have about 20 staff members, and were previously in different spaces just a couple of blocks away. ORA owner Owen Richards said co-working lets them share equipment, and save on rent and utilities.

His firm leased the space in the early 20th century loft building from Weiss-Jenkins LLC. The other firms sublease from ORA.

“It allows us to create a space that would be larger than any of the small firms would be able to have on their own, and create a space that has the flexibility we were looking for,” he said.

The light-filled office has tall ceilings and an exposed wood structure. Richards said ORA leased it before the other co-working tenants were in place. “We were just taken by the space.”

Framework relocated this month from Chophouse Row, a block away. Framework founder Lesley Bain said the tenant mix in Chophouse Row is evolving. Office space along the plaza in the Piston & Ring Building is shifting to retail and services.

Bain's firm is collaborating with ORA on Mercer Island Center for the Arts and is working with Arke Design Studio on passive house design. Framework also is working on a small park at 12th Avenue and South Jackson Street in Seattle's Little Saigon neighborhood.

ORA's projects include Volunteer Park Amphitheater, renovating Poncho Forum at Seattle Repertory Theatre, and renovating a floor of City Hall to house the Seattle Office of Planning & Community Development.

Richards said all the design firms in the co-working space plan to collaborate.

And the startup? “We're hoping that we will learn something from them, too,” he said.

The open house is in Suite 300, and it's open to the public. The event is being held in conjunction with Capitol Hill Art Walk. The co-working space will have an art installation by James Thompson.


Lynn Porter can be reached by email or by phone at (206) 622-8272.

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