12th Avenue Park & Woonerf

The 12th Avenue Park resulted from the local community’s desire to convert a vacant urban lot into much needed community gathering space. Artist Ellen Sollod suspended “Cloud Veil” over the central plaza.


Seattle, WA


Civic Space


City of Seattle


Ellen Sollod


0.25 block

ABOUT the project

While designing The Douglas student housing project at Seattle University, an opportunity arose to transform East James Court into a woonerf. The woonerf — Dutch for “living street” — reshaped this right-of-way corridor into a community resource with close attention placed on blurring the edges between the woonerf, Douglas frontage, and the new 12th Avenue Park.

The 12th Avenue Park resulted from the local community’s need for open space and desire to convert a vacant property into a fun, flexible park space for neighborhood gathering. The park plaza includes a suspended, focal art element – “Cloud Veil” by artist Ellen Sollod – with theatrical lighting, special seating, grand bollards, lush landscaping, and unique paving pattern that recalls the flow of people and water through the space. Stormwater from the Park raingardens flows into woonerf raingardens that purposely slow discharge into the undersized City system.