Mini Mart City Park stands as a novel community-centric pocket park conceived and designed through the efforts of GO’C and artist collaborative SuttonBeresCuller. Situated in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, this transformative project has repurposed the grounds of a former gas station into a vibrant hub for art events and communal gatherings.


CLIENT: Mini Mart City Park
ARTISTS & FOUNDERS: SuttonBeresCuller
Gentry / O’Carroll (Jon Gentry AIA, Aimée O’Carroll ARB)
Ben Kruse
Becca Fuhrman
Nick Durig

CONTRACTOR: Métis Construction

Mini Mart City Park by GO'C - Sheet3
©Kevin Scott

The initial phase involved a careful examination of options to preserve the remnants of the 1930s-era, 450-square-foot filling station. However, it became apparent that the structure, both too small for the envisioned community functions and structurally compromised, was unsalvageable. Subsequently, plans were devised for a new 1,500-square-foot building and a 3,000-square-foot park that not only accommodate the desired program but also optimize the site, resulting in expanded public green space.

By delineating program functions into a front-of-building gallery/community center and a rear storage/utility box, an open-air courtyard emerged at the heart of the design. The courtyard seamlessly integrates the park and building, providing a versatile exterior space for large-scale art installations, movie nights, and loading access for the main gallery. The rooftop level, spanning 1,000 square feet, offers an elevated area for small gatherings, surrounded by green roofs featuring drought-tolerant sedums and space for solar panels.

Mini Mart City Park by GO'C - Sheet7
©Kevin Scott

The main gallery employs strategic design elements to enhance the flexibility of the compact space, including a sizable pivoting window along the south gallery wall for a direct connection to the park. Exposed wood rafters and a 15-foot-long skylight filter natural light into the space. The kitchen, integrated into the cabinet wall, opens directly to the courtyard through sliding and hinged glass doors, effectively extending the gallery into the outdoor space.

The design pays homage to old filling stations with features like painted clapboard siding, a protective overhanging roof, hand-painted signage, and divided metal windows reminiscent of vintage storefronts. These elements serve as a nod to the past while the building’s program offers a new kind of venue––a cultural and social filling station devoted to art, community, and civic engagement.

Mini Mart City Park by GO'C - Sheet9
©Kevin Scott

Beneath the park and building, a remediation system, incorporating air sparging and soil vapor extraction, was seamlessly integrated to cleanse residual contaminants from the site’s prior use. The control station for this system is showcased in the utility room, offering visitors insights into ways to enhance and rejuvenate similar brownfield sites. With over 700 abandoned gas stations in the Puget Sound region and over 200,000 nationwide, this project explores the potential of art and architecture as catalysts for urban healing, simultaneously creating a shared, multi-use park and community space.


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