Asian Art Museum expansion and renovation design released


SEATTLE, October 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — LMN Architects, a multidisciplinary design firm with a reputation for community-focused and impactful civic projects of all scales, announces the initial design for an expansion and renovation to the Asian Art Museum in Seattle. As Seattle Art Museum’s original home located in the Olmsted-designed Volunteer Park, the museum is set to receive its first substantial renovation and expansion since it was completed in 1933. The goal of this long-overdue renovation is to ensure this historic landmark remains an important cultural resource for future generations.

The renovation and expansion of the Asian Art Museum will be funded by a mixture of public and private funds. The project budget, which will continue to be refined as designs are finalized, is approximately $49 million.

“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 planned changes to the Bebb and Gould-designed Art Deco building will enable the museum to showcase more of its permanent collection and bring in significant special exhibitions offering ever-broader perspectives on Asia’s traditions and contemporary issues. The project will provide more space for deeper explorations of the diverse artistic and cultural traditions of Asia while enhancing visitors’ enjoyment and access to public programming and community events.

In addition to essential system enhancements (HVAC, fire safety, and seismic upgrades), the project includes a pair of small building expansions, and a proposed new terrace overlooking the east lawn. A glass park lobby addition to the east facade is designed to improve circulation through the galleries and provide direct visual connections to the park. This three-story addition will include space for a new gallery, education space and relocated administrative offices. In addition to other improvements, work involves preserving the historic character of the building and restoring elements that have been compromised through years of incremental renovations.

The museum will temporarily close for renovation following the conclusion of the exhibition, Tabaimo: Utsutsushi Utsushi (November 11, 2016–February 26, 2017), with an anticipated 2019 reopening.


Project team

LMN Architects (architecture and interior design)
Walker Macy (landscape architecture)
Magnusson Klemencic Associates (structural engineering)
Coughlin Porter Lundeen (civil Engineering)
Rushing (mechanical/plumbing engineering)
Stantec (electrical engineering and low voltage systems)
Fisher Marantz Stone (lighting)
BNBuilders, Inc. (general contractor/construction manager)
OAC Services, Inc. (project and construction management services)


About LMN
Seattle-based LMN Architects specializes in the planning and design of significant public and private projects, including convention centers, cultural arts venues, education facilities, office buildings, multi-family housing, hotels, transit stations, mixed-use developments and other urban environments that celebrate and enrich communities. The firm is the recipient of the 2016 American Institute of Architects Architecture Firm Award.

For information:
Matt Anderson
Anderson Strategic, Inc.