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Unveiled> Tacoma Art Museum Expansion
Olson Kundig Architects doubles the size of a noted Washington state institution.
Courtesy Olson Kundig Architects

Tacoma Art Museum Addition
Architect: Olson Kundig Architects
Client: Tacoma Art Museum
Location: Tacoma, WA
Completion: Fall 2014

Since its establishment 78 years ago, the Tacoma Art Museum has moved to five different buildings around the city–including a former jailhouse and a historic bank. Since 2003, the institution has been located west of the Thea Foss Waterway in Antoine Predock’s 12,000-square-foot stainless steel and glass structure, which hugs a stone courtyard enclosed in mirrored glass walls by sculptor Richard Rhodes.

The museum is now doubling in size, to house a collection of over 280 works of Western American art including pieces by Georgia O’Keeffe, E. Martin Hennings, and John Clymer. Local firm Olson Kundig Architects is leading the design of the $15.5 million expansion–called the Haub Gallery–and the renovation of the existing building, with construction set to start in late October. The new 16,000-square-foot wing will provide space for additional art galleries, a sculpture hall, a new lobby, and interactive exhibits for families. Renovations to the existing building will update the existing cafe and museum shop, and create an entrance at parking level.

Site plan.

“It was a chance to create new venues to view art, enable the museum to better announce the entry sequence and open itself up to the community through transparency,” said Tom Kundig, principal at Olson Kundig.

The outdoor plaza will also get a facelift with a canopy that will connect the addition to the original museum, and include spaces for outdoor public art.

Ariel Rosenstock