Kurt Farm Shop, an ice cream and cheese shop featuring local products from the Vashon Island farm of Kurt Timmermeister, is tucked into an outdoor urban market in Seattle called Chop House Row. Driven by the close connection between Kurt’s shop and the farm that supplies its goods, design principal Alan Maskin created an environmental brand experience for this 270-square-foot shop. The concept for the shop experience emerged out of a sustained design dialogue between Kurt and Alan, who are longtime friends.
The modest space highlights the purity of Kurt’s deceptively simple products – the milk for his cheeses and ice cream comes directly from cows on Kurtwood Farms. Ice cream flavors such as bay leaf and salted plum, also from the farm, are churned into ice cream in the shop’s production area where Kurt works. Through integrated design and art direction, Alan created a spatial experience for the shop that immerses customers into the farm and its creamery products.
The budget was tight, and so was the space itself. The concept for the space derived from conversations with Kurt about tiny noodle shops in Tokyo, which served as a reference for scale. In the end, a tiny footprint makes ample use of the public sphere of Chop House Row surrounding Kurt’s shop. The design allows Kurt to expand and contract his shop into the public realm of the market.
Local artist Jeffry Mitchell crafted a ceramic sculptural ice cream cone holder for the counter.
Plywood walls, shelves, and custom casework give a warm, rustic quality to the space. Large photographic lightboxes hanging behind the counter serve dual function as lighting, and as illustrations of the story of Kurt’s Jersey cows. These portraits of a single cow lend personality to the space, giving customers a visual connection to the animals on Kurt’s farm. Small plywood seats specially designed for the shop offer a modern take on a dairy stool, providing flexible seating that can spill outside the shop.
“King of the Hill.” Western Living, Jan/Feb. 2017, 82. Print.
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