The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) has unveiled initial designs by 2016 AIA Architecture Firm of the Year LMN Architects for the upcoming renovation and expansion of the Asian Art Museum. The plans comprise an expansion containing a 2650 square foot art gallery and event space, as well as preserving the museum’s historic Art Deco façade and bringing the museum to modern standards of climate control, fire safety and seismic system upgrades. The historic building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in July 2016.
“This renovation and expansion project is crucial for the future of the Asian Art Museum,” says Kimerly Rorschach, SAM’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO. “The museum’s exhibitions and programming connects to the many cultural traditions and contemporary issues of Asia, helping us better understand our region and our rapidly evolving world; our goal is to ensure that we can continue to serve our community and visitors for years to come.”
The new expansion will look out onto the adjacent Volunteer Park, improving the connection to the park and bringing its natural beauty into the gallery space through a full-height, glazed curtain wall. In addition to the gallery and events spaces, the expanded programming will also contain educational facilities and the potential for a new Asian art conservation studio in the existing building that will be on display for visitors to look in.
To further connect to its context, a new glass-enclosed lobby accessible via two new openings in the building’s Fuller Garden Court lobby space will offer views to and from the park, while a landscaping scheme designed by landscape architect Walker Macy will enhance the east side of the building and the east meadow of the park.
“The architectural design approach parallels the curatorial goals, which seek to create relevance and meaning between the past and the present. Simultaneously, the design is focused on strengthening the relationship between the building and the park—from the outside in and the inside out,” says Sam Miller, AIA, Partner at LMN Architects.
The expansion and renovation is estimated to cost approximately $49 million and is being funded by a mixture of public and private sources. A fundraising campaign for the project is ongoing.
Construction is set to begin in fall 2017.
Architecture & Interior Design: LMN Architects
Landscape Architecture: Walker Macy
Structural Engineering: Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Civil Engineering: Coughlin Porter Lundeen
Mechanical/Plumbing Engineering: Rushing
Electrical Engineering and Low Voltage Systems: Stantec
Lighting: Fisher Marantz Stone
General Contractor/Construction Manager: BNBuilders, Inc.
Project and Construction Management Services: OAC Services, Inc.
News via LMN Architects.