Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience

The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, in Seattle’s Chinatown International District, provides space for community meetings and events, public space for the neighborhood, theater space for performances and presentations, exhibit spaces for community art and emerging Asian Pacific American artists, family-centered learning environments and leadership development for neighborhood youth. The design grew out of the original, 1910 multi-story building that served as a social center and living quarters for Chinese, Japanese and Filipino immigrants. Drawing inspiration from the building’s rich history, we saved as much of the original building as possible. In addition to building materials – such as timbers cut out between floors – the character and scale of the building were maintained.

Flexible exhibition spaces

On the upper floors, original narrow doorways and corridors and small rooms preserve the intimacy of the original space, and are a venue for the museum’s immersion exhibits.

Re-use and recycling play an important role in the building’s sustainable strategies. Windows and doors were repaired and reinstalled, fir joists were recycled as stair treads, and fire doors and other no longer “functional” objects served as inspiration for furniture and works of art. Operable windows and two-story lightwells encourage natural air flow, while transparency between adjacent spaces and floors allow daylight to filter down to the main entry level.

Information

Team

Project Manager

Stephen Yamada-Heidner

Project Architect

Martha Rogers

Interior Designer

Debbie Kennedy

Awards

2010

Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Awards, American Architecture Award

2009

AIA Seattle Honor Awards, Honor Award

Great Places Awards (Environmental Design Research, Places and Metrolpolis), Place Design Award

Historic Seattle Preservation Awards, Best Adaptive Reuse

International Interior Design Association, Interior Design Award

2008

Northwest Design Awards, First Place: Unusual Spaces

Publications

2011

“Wing Luke Asian Museum.” C3 Magazine, Jan. 2011, 152-155. Print.

2009

“13 projects win 2009 awards from the AIA.” Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, 12 Nov. 2009, 1-2. Print. Web.

“ARTchitecture: The World of Museums – the best buildings for art in focus.” Hinge Vol. 166, 2009, 50-51. Print.

Pearson, Clifford. “Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen turns the prosaic into the memorable at the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle.” Architectural Record, June 2009, 68-73. Print.

2008

Broom, Jack. “Visitors to walk through time at new Wing Luke Asian Museum.” The Seattle Times, 19 May 2008. Print. Web.

“Débuts: Wing Luke Asian Museum.” Museum Magazine, Sept. 2008, 23. Print.

Farr, Sheila. “Wing Luke Asian Museum: A Museum’s Metamorphosis.” The Seattle Times, 25 May 2008, L10. Print.

Lee, Evelyn. “The Beautifully Adapted Wing Luke Asian Museum.” Inhabitat, 27 Oct. 2008. Web. 

Mortice, Zach. “Brick by Brick, Door by Door, Beam by Beam, the Wing Luke Asian Museum Retells the Stories of Seattle’s Asian Immigrants.” AIA Architect, 19 Dec. 2008. Web.

Rothstein, Edward. “Seattle Asian Museum Moves Around the Corner and Into Its Identity.” The New York Times, 31 May 2008. Print.

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