Harmonizing with a 1933 Art Deco building, LMN Architects have completed the renovation and expansion of Seattle's iconic Asian Art Museum. Retaining the splendor of the existing building, the contemporary glazed extension ensures the museum meets its current and future curatorial goals. Concurrently, the scheme strengthens connections to the adjacent Olmstead designed Volunteer Park.
Spatially, a series of steps lead the public to the existing renovated Art Deco lobby. Once inside, this lobby connects and unfolds to the new lobby facing the park, as well as the existing Fuller Garden Court, which remains the central hub of the museum. These three spaces in concert create a new circulation spine joining the building with the park.
The new lobby is a vertical connector to new program spaces and is composed mostly of glass, giving the impression that the space is floating in the landscape.
The design took into consideration various technical needs, including mechanical and electrical systems, accessibility, seismic improvements, and all other needs for a contemporary art environment.
The renovation further provides daylight to the octagonal galleries with lightboxes built into the ceiling that simulate natural daylight while providing the museum with a modern lighting system. This artificial lighting allows the museum to set the stage for new art, better preserve their collection, and provide newfound flexibility for future displays.