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Tacoma Art Museum Haub Galleries in Washington by Olson Kundig
April 12th, 2017 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Olson Kundig
In 2012 the Tacoma Art Museum received a gift of Western art, creating an opportunity to feature two unique collections – Western art and their existing contemporary art collections–together in one building. The design brief for the new addition and remodel to house the collections was: 1) better announce the museum to the community; 2) design a new wing that is sympathetic to its surrounding historic context; 3) create a public living room that offers transparency to the street, and; 4) resolve an overly complex and obscured entry sequence.
The museum addition is located in Tacoma’s historic Union Depot – Warehouse neighborhood and takes its inspiration from the neighborhood’s elemental brick structures, its industrial and transportation history, as well as from the art collection itself. As a counterpoint to the stainless steel cladding of the existing museum, the new addition is clad with Richlite, a locally-produced material that is made from recycled paper, organic fiber and phenolic resin.
The new 30-foot high canopy announces the museum to the community, creates a junction between the existing museum and the new addition, and serves as a gateway to Pacific Avenue and Tacoma. The canopy is made using a combination of aluminum grating and stainless steel panels which were reused from selectively demolished portions of the existing building.
The new addition stretches along Pacific Avenue for greater pedestrian engagement and is characterized by its pedestrian scale and details, including a set of three sliding sun screens. The 16-feet-wide-by-17-feet-tall screens, operated by a hand-wheel, roll like railroad box car doors across the façade and nest together with a set of fixed screens enabling the museum to control the amount natural light in the galleries.
In addition to doubling the museum’s gallery space, the new addition opens the museum up to the city through large, floor-to-ceiling windows enabling visitors and passers-by to glimpse activity within, and makes the museum a destination with the introduction of an enhanced and large-scaled entry canopy. The newly revised lobby and entry sequence encourages movement into and through the museum.
The program for the addition includes 7,000 square feet of new gallery space, 3,500 square feet of new back-of-house service and mechanical space, 3,000 square feet of interior renovations in the existing facility for lobby, bookstore, café and restrooms. Sustainable features include reduced water usage with adaptive landscape vegetation and low flow water fixtures, high efficiency mechanical and LED lighting systems, and the incorporation of reclaimed materials from the existing building.
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