Ada's Technical Books and Cafe, Seattle.
© Cindy Apple Ada's Technical Books and Cafe, Seattle.

Board & Vellum 

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.” 

Click here to see all of the winners of the 2014 Residential Architect Design Awards.

© Cindy Apple Exterior.
Community room.
© Cindy Apple Community room.
Interior, bookstore and cafe.
© Cindy Apple Interior, bookstore and cafe.
© Cindy Apple Cafe.


Ground-level plan.
Courtesy Board & Vellum Ground-level plan.

Project Credits

Project  Ada's Technical Books and Café, Seattle
Architect  Board & Vellum, Seattle—Jeffrey Pelletier, AIA (principal & owner); Scott Pitek (principal)
General Contractor  Model Remodel—Jason Legat
Developer  Dandy Properties—Danielle and David Hulton
Structural Engineer  Perbix Bykonen Quinn Structural Engineering—Tom Bykonen
Mechanical Engineer  Rensch Engineering—Chris Rensch
Artist  Nicholas Hernandez
Photography  Cindy Apple
ProjectSize  4,402 square feet
ConstructionCost  Withheld

Materials and Sources

Bathroom Fittings  Delta
Bathroom Fixtures  ProFlo
Countertops  Custom stained butcher block
Dishwasher  CMA Dishmachines
Doors  Andersen
ExteriorSiding  James Hardie
Flooring   Forbo Marmoleum; Shaw Contract Group (carpet)
Hardware  Schlage
HVAC  Rheem
Kitchen Cabinets  Custom stainless open shelving and counters
Kitchen Fittings  Delta
Kitchen Fixtures  Elkay
Lighting Fixtures  Tech Lighting (SoCo pendants)
Oven  American Range
Paints and Finishes  Devine Color
Refrigerator  Admiral Craft
Skylights  Velux
Windows  Andersen