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LMN Architects release plans for renovation and expansion of the Asian Art Museum in Seattle

United States - Apr 5, 2018 - 03:31   3404 views

Seattle-based LMN Architects has released plans for renovation and modest expansion of the Asian Art Museum (AAM) in Seattle, and construction work began on site with a ground breaking ceremony last month. After years of design planning with the City, parks groups, and community stakeholders, followed by months of preparation, work on the building has begun and will conclude with the anticipated reopening of the museum in fall 2019.

In her remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony, Kimerly Rorschach, SAM’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO, thanked attendees and supporters and reiterated the need to preserve and update the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s building—gifted to the city by SAM’s founder in 1933. 

The renovation plan will help safeguard precious works through significant improvements in heating and cooling systems, art storage, and conservation space. This will help preserve the treasured collection so that it may be enjoyed for generations to come.

“For the last 20 years, we’ve known the day would arrive when we needed to restore this building, a museum that houses one of the most important Asian art collections in the country," Rorschach noted. “That day has come.”

The Seattle Asian Art Museum renovation and expansion project takes an early 20th-century building and brings it up to 21st-century standards.The $54 million project not only ensures for years to come the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s role as a world-class cultural resource and park amenity for residentsand visitors, but it also enhances SAM’s ability to share its significant Asian artcollection and better serve a growing and increasingly diverse audience. 

The renovation and expansion preserves the 1933 historic building and its Art Decofaçade, improves the museum’s infrastructure, protects the collection withclimate control and seismic system upgrades, enhances ADA accessibility, andimproves the museum’s connection to Volunteer Park, including the restoration of historic pathways in the park.

An expansion of the historic building providesapproximately 13,900 square feet of much-needed new space, but changes themuseum’s footprint in the park by only 3,290 square feet (less than one quarterof one percent of the park’s 48-acre total). The project adds a new exhibitiongallery, a dedicated education space, and a new conservation center.

New doors in the art-filled Fuller Garden Court will open onto a glass lobby with beautiful Volunteer Park views beyond.

The project design team includes Seattle-based project architect LMN Architects (2016 AIA National Architecture Firm of the Year), landscape architect Walker Macy, general contractor/construction manager BNBuilders, Inc., and OAC Services, Inc., providing construction and project management services. 

The Seattle Art Museum continues to work closely with Seattle Parks & Recreation, which owns the building and maintains Volunteer Park.

A new education space will enable more hands-on experiences during school tours and family workshops. Improved event spaces will allow for more community activities like Family Fun Workshops, Free First Saturday, and the popular programming offered by the Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas.

A glass lobby will improve circulation throughout the building and provide a visual link between the creative beauty of our collection and the natural beauty of the park.

The renovation and expansion of the Seattle Asian Art Museum is funded by a mixture of public and private funds. More than $51 million of the estimated $54 million has been secured, with funds committed from the City of Seattle, King County, and Washington State, as well as significant gifts and pledges from individuals and foundations. The public fundraising campaign continues.

Project facts

Architecture and 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. 

All images courtesy of LMN Architects

> via LMN Architects