Seattle-based architect Jim Olson of Olson Kundig Architects has been selected by Washington State University to design a new Museum of Art. Over the years, Olson has complied a spectacular portfolio of stunning homes designed for art collectors worldwide. This experience has given Olson a “wealth of experience in not only crafting beautiful environments for works of art, but in working with artists to discover new opportunities for expressing their creativity,” according to Chris Bruce, director of the museum.
Olson Kundig Architects was selected from a national, open call for qualifications. The appointment follows a three-month selection process that involved interviews with three other leading architectural firms.
Construction of the $9 million museum is expected to begin in 2015, with costs funded through private donations. The site will extend from the existing gallery north to Wilson Road in the Fine Arts Plaza, directly across from Martin Stadium.
The building will feature an open and welcoming front entrance that can serve as a destination gathering place for students, faculty and the public. New spaces will include permanent collection galleries, an outdoor sculpture garden and galleries for special exhibitions.
“Our goal has always been to build a stunning piece of architecture that not only houses art, but that welcomes the entire community and literally represents – and stimulates – creativity,” Bruce said.
“This will be a living museum – a museum unlike any other – yet one that is an extension of its place,” Olson said. “The museum will breathe new life to the center of campus, already a hub of activity. The beauty of the Palouse and the Inland Empire – its light, colors and seasons – will be an integral part of the museum and serve to connect and open it to the campus, the region and the world.
“It will be a place alive with people, art and the creative spirit,” he said. “I can’t wait to start!
News via WSU