NEW FACE PROJECT – Spring 2003


Danny Woo Community Gardens
620 South Main Street
Seattle, WA


The studio was asked to design and build a new face for the Danny Woo Garden to increase visibility, street presence, and safety. The students chose to build a serpentine path that bordered the retaining wall at the edge of the garden. Flower beds, lights, and seating were placed along the path to enliven the space and encourage visitors.02


-Provide a new face to the garden to make it a more friendly, safer place, for everyone to come and enjoy.
-Clean up the slope to make it a place for flowers and herbs and to encourage more visitors.
-Provide places to sit. Places for children (and adults) to explore in a safe environment.
-Look at the potential to reflect the character and enhance the identity of the neighborhood.
-Address the new growth, and attract new visitors, including the future residents of housing to be built across the street.
-Provide greater visibility and greater safety.

Design Considerations

-Use the variety within the garden as the inspiration for the variety of material in addition. The people have made the garden into a mosaic of cultures and languages. The addition strives to reflect that diversity.
-Think about views up to the garden — show the graceful curve as a softening of the street treatment — an invitation to a world of greater creativity and whimsy. The color and texture of perennials, both upright and cascading will captivate passersby and encourage them to explore the garden. In addition to views up, we have preserved views out. Picture eating lunch, or having some tea, sitting on the steps, protected by the walls, yet able to see the neighborhood.


The University of Washington and the Danny Woo garden share a rich tradition of community involvement. The garden was built in 1975 by a group of community volunteers. It’s 50 garden plots were the first community garden in Seattle. Students from the University of Washington have been involved since 1984 when Leslie Morishita (now a Housing/Community Planner for ICDA) built a tool shed for her thesis project. The school continued its involvement with another student’s thesis project to place lighting throughout the project as well as design/build studios in the garden in 1990, 1991, and 1996. The 2003 design/build studio in the garden is the fourth such collaboration and represents the continued collaboration of the UW Dept. of Architecture and the Danny Woo Community Garden.