Location: Seattle - New Holly
Theme: Design and Build
Partner(s): Seattle Housing Authority, Olson Kundig

New Holly Shade Shelter

Sawhorse Revolution is partnered with Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) to build a shade shelter for the Rockery Market Garden in New Holly. Participating students are all residents of the New Holly neighborhood, and we’re grateful to Seattle Public Schools for providing space for classes and organizing community meetings.

We also closely partnered with Seattle Parks P-Patch department and gardeners, as well as the New Holly Community, to understand the needs of the gardeners and community.  Students processed the information gathered from community members and worked with mentor architects from Olson Kundig to incorporate those ideas into the design of the shade shelter, which we built in the spring and early summer of 2023, under the experienced guidance of carpenters from Dowbuilt.

Albert and our mentor team worked from the ground up, with some awesome volunteers help clearing the site, cutting brush, and removing fencing to ready the plot. Then students joined us on site doing earthwork to level and grade the site, spread gravel, and pour concrete piers. We framed the structure and erected four posts, with an artistic half-lap joint between supporting crossbeams to give it a nice farmhouse style. From there, we framed out roof, laid pavers for the open interior floor, and built out benches. At the end of program, we handed off completion of the shelter’s southern face to a smaller team, with Black Star Farmers setting up a brilliant rainwater catchment system and an attached flower box.

Throughout program, our small group of students were really excited about power tools – especially the circular saws, chop saws, and pneumatic nailers. The greatest hesitation was around roof work and ladders, but a couple were interested and felt brave enough to get up high to work. One student, Kevin, participated in both the design and build phases of this project, and was super excited about every component, always offering to come for extra work. To celebrate his extra efforts, Albert is custom-printing him an Optimus Prime model with a 3d printer, which Kevin will paint – and hopefully display as a lifetime reminder of his time with Sawhorse.