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 residents and visitors, but it also enhances SAM’s ability to share its significant Asian art collection and better serve a growing and increasingly diverse audience. The renovation and expansion preserves the 1933 historic building and its Art Deco façade, improves the museum’s infrastructure, protects the collection with climate control and seismic system upgrades, enhances ADA accessibility, and improves the museum’s connection to Volunteer Park, including the restoration of historic pathways in the park. An expansion of the historic building provides approximately 13,900 square feet of much-needed new space, but changes the museum’s footprint in the park by only 3,290 square feet (less than one quarter of one percent of the park’s 48-acre total). The project adds a new exhibition gallery, a dedicated education space, and a new conservation center.
“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 museum is anticipated to reopen in the fall of 2019.