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Springwood, Kent, WA

Mailbox shelters as community gathering spaces

Pomegranate Center conducted an assessment of the social conditions of the Springwood Apartments, one of the largest and most diverse subsidized housing projects in Washington. Based on our findings, we developed a plan to revitalize the outdoor spaces.

With grant support from the U.S. Forest Service, we also pioneered the use of small diameter “roundwood” from trees too small for dimensional lumber. These trees must be cleared for forest health and fire prevention. We used the wood to construct two mailbox shelters, a kiosk, and street lights to demonstrate how this material can be constructively and imaginatively used.

With the Springwood Girl Scout Troop Totem Council and artist Natalie Ramsey, we painted a banner that intertwined flowers chosen by residents from their native countries with flowers native to Washington State. This banner is displayed on one of the mailbox shelters, adding color and vibrancy to the Springwood community.

Kent, Washington
King County Housing Authority
Lead Designers:
Milenko Matanovic, Lauren Woodward
Project Manager:
Chiaki Takanohara
Chiaki Takanohara and Natalie Ramsey
Metal Work:
Paul Sorey
Volunteer Coordinator:
Mandy Brenchley
Volunteer Hours: