By Kate Snyder
A bakery in Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood underwent a recent transformation that was designed to revitalize the building into another community “gem,” according to information from Heliotrope Architects, which led the team behind the renovation. The firm worked with the building’s tenants, local bakers Kit and Jesse Schumann, to reconfigure the space for their needs. This project was the second that Heliotrope completed for the Schumanns, as the firm previously designed the brothers’ first bakery several years ago.
Located at 2307 24th Ave E, the 3,000 square foot building involved in the most recent project, called the Oxbow Bakery, is positioned in the heart of Montlake. The property is just blocks away from the Montlake Elementary School and the Washington Park Arboretum, Montlake Playfield Park and Interlaken Park.
The Schumanns started baking in 2014 and have become one of the most sought-after sourdough loaf baking team in the city. Heliotrope previously designed their first location, Sea Wolf Bakery, at 3617 Stone Way N in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. Sea Wolf began as a wholesale-only business providing sourdough bread to local restaurants, according to the bakery’s website. In 2016, Sea Wolf began offering retail bread and pastries and now occupies a 4,000 square foot open-plan production space and supplies over 35 area restaurants and cafes.
For the Oxbow Bakery, the brothers have focused on the specialty of bagels. The completion of the renovation was announced earlier this year.
“The concept for the space was to make a sum greater than the parts, choosing a few architectural moves that would bring the biggest impact to the interior,” according to Heliotrope. “The tenants wanted the space to feel like you were entering a working bakery, and to make a better work environment it was important to drive as much daylight into the interior.”
The project started as a collaboration with local developer Ira Gerlich’s team to transform the existing building, according to Heliotrope. The renovation included the installation of tall clerestory windows, new skylights and a full row of double hung windows at the storefront to make for a bright addition to the street. The facade was also cladded in onyx brick.
In order to bring warmth and softness to the space, wood was selected as the primary material. Wood was incorporated into the project with the use of clear stained wood windows and trim, exposing existing wood roof joists and columns and the addition of clear stained fir paneling in the cabinetry. Designed to give off a residential feel to the space, a custom milled painted wood beadboard carries the sill line from the new clerestory windows to the double-hung paned windows.
Based in Seattle and founded in 1999, Heliotrope has a portfolio of residential and commercial projects located throughout the city of Seattle as well as the Pacific Northwest region and beyond, according to the firm’s website. The company is named after the heliotrope flower of myth, which orients itself towards the sun. Other projects from the firm include a variety of residential properties, restaurants and public spaces.