98: Remediation System | Mini Mart City Park

45m 42s | 2024 Jun 07
In this episode, Cherise is joined by Jon Gentry, AIA, and Aimée (Amy) O'Carroll ARB, both Co-founders of GO’C (Go-see) in Seattle Washington. They discuss the Mini Mart City Park in the Georgetown Neighborhood in Seattle, WA.

Once an abandoned gas station, the project came to life through the collaborative efforts of GO’C and SuttonBeresCuller. Their aim was clear: through the integration of a remediation system, transform a neglected space into a vibrant cultural center.
Photo Credit: Kevin Scott

Jon Gentry AIA, Co-founder, GO'C

Jon founded GO'C in 2012. He previously worked as project architect for 9 years in Seattle with a number of award-winning and internationally recognized practices.

Growing up in rural North Carolina instilled a strong appreciation for the landscape and a passion for built structures that were grounded in a thoughtful analysis of site and expressive of their pragmatic functions.

Jon believes that architecture born of a passionate process and inextricably tied to the act of “making” can inspire and elevate the everyday. Having designed custom lighting fixtures and furniture that have been exhibited and sold internationally, his work delves into architecture at every scale.

Aimée O'Carroll ARB, Co-founder, GO'C

Aimée founded GO'C in 2012. Born and educated in the United Kingdom at the University of Cambridge and the Architectural Association, Aimée moved to Seattle to pursue architectural practice with Jon Gentry after working together transatlantically on several successful design competitions.

A one year stint at Rural Studio designing and building a house for $20k in rural Alabama created a passion for hands-on experiences and problem solving.

Aimée is passionate about design as a collaborative process and enjoys finding opportunities in this process that blur the conventional perceptions of what we understand as architecture. GO'C has been widely published and recently awarded the AIA Emerging Firm of the Year in the Northwest and Pacific Region.

Project Name and Location: Mini Mart City Park, Seattle Washington (Georgetown Neighborhood)

Mini Mart City Park is a new community-focused cultural center and park designed by GO’C and founded by the artist collaborative SuttonBeresCuller.

The project has transformed a former gas station site into a Seattle hub for art events and community gatherings in the Georgetown neighborhood.

The design work began by exploring options to preserve the existing remnants of the 1930s-era, 450-square-foot filling station. It quickly became evident that in addition to being too small of a venue to host the desired community meetings and gatherings, the structure was too compromised to save.

Plans were developed for a new, 1,500-square-foot building and 3,000-square-foot park which would satisfy the desired program and make better use of the site, resulting in more public green space.

By dividing the program functions into two primary spaces, a gallery/community center at the front of the building, and a storage/utility box at the back of the building, an open-air courtyard was created in the middle.

The courtyard enables the park and building to work together, merging built space and the park areas in between. The courtyard also serves as a multi-functional exterior space for large-scale art installations, movie night gatherings, and loading access for the main gallery.

A 1,000-square-foot rooftop level provides an elevated space for small gatherings surrounded by areas of green roof planted with drought tolerant sedums and space for solar panels.

The main gallery space uses a few key design elements to increase the flexibility of the compact space. It includes a large pivoting window (6'-6"-wide-by-8'-0”-high) along the south gallery wall that opens to provide a strong connection to the park and serves as a cafe window during events. The gallery has exposed wood rafters throughout that filter light down into the space via a 15-foot-long skylight.

The kitchen tucks into the cabinet wall along the back corner and opens directly to the courtyard through a series of sliding and hinged glass doors. Having large operable windows and doors along three sides allows the courtyard and park to become an extension of the gallery.

From the earliest stages of the design process, references to old filling stations (painted clapboard siding, a large overhanging roof protecting the forecourt, hand-painted signage, and divided metal windows typical of old storefronts), were an important part of the design.

These are a nod to the past, albeit a transformed past: a new type of filling station–one dedicated to serving art, community, and civic engagement.

Below the park and building footprint, a remediation system (including air sparging and soil vapor extraction) was integrated to clean the residual contaminants from the site's previous use. The control station for this system is on display in the utility room for visitors to learn more about ways to improve and rebuild on similar brownfield sites.

With over 700 derelict gas stations in the Puget Sound region and over 200,000 nationwide, the project explores the potential of art and architecture as a way to heal an urban problem while simultaneously creating a shared, multi-use park and community space.

Additional Information:

Project Team List:


Cherise Lakeside, FCSI, CDT  image
Cherise Lakeside, FCSI, CDT
Senior Spec Writer | RDH Building Science
Jon Gentry, AIA image
Jon Gentry, AIA
Co-founder | GO’C (Go-see)
Aimée (Amy) O'Carroll ARB image
Aimée (Amy) O'Carroll ARB
Co-founder | GO’C (Go-see)