Olson Kundig Architects’ $6.6 million Wagner Education Center at The Center for Wooden Boats (CWB) in Seattle is scheduled to break ground this winter. Reminiscent of historic Northwest boatbuilding facilities, the projected LEED Gold center will serve as the “modern front door for the growing museum, Lake Union Park and the surrounding South Lake Union neighborhood.” The design will feature large windows and movable exterior panels that, consistent with Kundig’s signature use of inventive details, will grant users maximum flexibility in controlling the interior’s exposure to the elements.
"We designed the center to reflect our region's deep maritime history, provide a functional and efficient environment for the center, and to serve its diverse audiences," stated Kundig. "The design features wood, glass and steel, and just like on a boat, every inch of space and feature is designed to provide the highest function."
The new building will house a dedicated youth classroom that can be converted to a sail loft in the evening; new gallery and exhibit space; and a boat shop designed to facilitate the restoration of the museum's largest boats and the construction of new boats from historic designs. The education center is the largest part of a $9.5 million dollar capital improvement project that is also upgrading the organization's existing floating facilities at the south end of Lake Union. It will also bring necessary upgrades to CWB's workshop and warehouse at the North end of the lake and will strengthen the museum's financial stability.
"CWB's sailing and boatbuilding classes, programs for kids, historical maritime exhibits and artifacts are overflowing our original floating boathouse and boat shop," said Lori O'Tool, CWB Board President. "Tom Kundig at Olson Kundig Architects knows how to design the kind of human scale building that retains the feel and character that has always made CWB a place where everyone feels welcome."
Reference: The Center for Wooden Boats