Seaweed Co. approached Caleb Johnson Studio in late 2017 with a vision to create an architecturally significant building to lead the way into Maine’s adult-use marijuana retail future. The primary goal was to create a sophisticated, but approachable, feel to create a broad appeal from the first-time buyer to the avid consumer. A pride in Maine-made craftsmanship was also integral to reflect the product line of the company brand.
The building’s placement along the busy Running Hill Road in South Portland, was tucked into a quiet corner overlooking an expansive wetland landscape and nestled amongst the tall grasses. The site was carefully designed to respect the landscape including the selection of natural plants and permeable pavers with a filtration system to clean rainwater before returning to the wetlands. The front of the building is deliberately austere in appearance from the road side for means of privacy, security and sound protection, whereas the rear facing the wetlands opens up to nearly 20’ tall full height windows capturing spectacular views and an abundance of light. As the seasons change, a dynamic shift in the view occurs when the treeline at the wetlands’ edge drops its leaves and the full expanse of the landscape is revealed. A large deck allows for outdoor space as part of Seaweed’s commitment to promote marijuana wellness education, to learn and connect, while overlooking nature and wildlife.
The building’s interior retail space features a dramatic full wood ceiling with an inverted hip design with a polished concrete floor as a backdrop to highlight various products on custom-designed, Maine-made millwork in white ash. The crafted qualities of the space and carried through with handmade clay tiles and metalwork designed by interiors architect MAAM-Made of Los Angeles.
The exterior exhibits classic Maine building materials with 21st century detailing and energy efficiency. The exterior wall is double-stud with Maine-harvested white cedar shiplap. The exterior semi-transparent stain was carefully selected to pair with the anodized aluminum curtain wall curtain wall system as a balance of coordinated neutral tones against the pop of the Seaweed Co’s glowing purple brand. The building was constructed by the Studio’s affiliated construction company, Woodhull Construction.