1. Home
  2. /
  3. Houses
  4. /
  5. Mutuus Studio designs The Grocery Studios, a combination res...

Mutuus Studio designs The Grocery Studios, a combination residence and community arts center in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington

Project name:
The Grocery Studios
Architecture firm:
Mutuus Studio
Seattle, Washington, USA
Mutuus Studio-Saul Becker
Principal architect:
Design team:
Jim Friesz, Kristen Becker, Saul Becker
Interior design:
Built area:
3,800 ft²
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Tools used:
Residential › House, Art Studio

Mutuus Studio transformed a historic (1929) brick corner grocery store in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle into a combination residence and community arts center. 

The Grocery Studios is the private home and art studio for a creative couple in the North Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle. The studio is a creative space where Janet and Demi host pop-up art exhibitions, workshops, lectures, music performances, and other creative activities. The Grocery’s street-facing windows are the home of the walk-up gallery (WUG), which is essentially a free and open exhibition space for the community.

The 3,800-square-foot historic building has deep roots in the community. The building was built in 1929 and owned by Sam and Mary Ulovich, who ran a grocery store there until 1943. In 1955, the store was listed as Three Thousand and One Grocery. Masaru Nomura purchased the building in November of 1956, and from 1961 through 1965, the building was known as Fred’s Grocery. The building has also served as a restaurant supply, and an outreach ministry from 1998-2005. Mutuus Studio worked with Demi and Janet to take the building into the next evolution of its existence. 

The buildings’ historic brick exterior was updated with new windows and doors along with new heating, cooling and lighting systems that bring contemporary residential comfort to the historic interiors. A new internal stair now connects the historic care takers apartment into living spaces above the street level studio below. The interior parking garage is enclosed with historic solid wood firewalls and ceiling that now reveal the warm wood as interior walls of a new guest suite.

Home and studio come together in a new kitchen opened up with new long span beams and steel column as part of a seismic structural retro fit. New, folding steel details and Mutuus Made micarta linen-clad panels bring a new design layer to the ongoing story of The Grocery Studios.

By Alfredo Gonzalez

Share on: