For over one hundred years, the historic landmark building of King Street Station has served as a central transportation hub for the city of Seattle. As it enters its next century, the building will now also offer a new permanent cultural hub for the community.
Commissioned by the Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), the new Olson Kundig-designed space will respond directly to feedback from community focus groups convened by ARTS beginning in May 2016. That process, conducted using the City’s Racial Equity Toolkit, engaged over 300 cultural stakeholders, and identified the goals for the project. Located on the third floor of King Street Station the 17,130 square foot cultural hub will offer multi-disciplinary arts presentation spaces, modular public areas, community gathering and performance spaces, as well as offices for ARTS.
Kirsten R. Murray, Design Principal, elaborates, “We couldn’t be more excited to help activate this amazing space at King Street Station, while maintaining the historic and intrinsic qualities of the existing structure. This project presents an incredible opportunity to design a flexible and adaptive venue for art installations, events and more for the Office of Arts & Culture and community.”
The design of the new adaptive space will center on dynamic, co-use areas to serve community needs. New architectural insertions, including interior walls, kinetic and moveable elements, as well as finishes and fixtures, will integrate with the original building. Kinetic and moveable elements, in particular, will be a defining feature and will enable artists to convert the space as needed to suit the scale and shape of the changing exhibits and events. Upon completion the new adaptive reuse project will serve as a vibrant arts center for collaboration, communication, connection and experimentation.
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