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The basic concept for this new $12.8 million museum is that of a museum turned inside out—to make the building as active on the outside as it will be on the inside. An iconic 36-foot-tall, 180-foot-long translucent wall, “the lightcatcher,” is conceived as the focal point and backdrop to a central courtyard that will become a new gathering place for the city.
The exterior of the museum is an invitation to engage in art and allows pedestrians walking by to view the art and activity within.
The building is 42,000 square feet. It is LEED registered and designed to LEED Silver level. Sustainable features include a green roof above the lobby, a rainwater harvesting system, pervious paving, double-skin curtain wall glazing at the lightcatcher wall, and natural ventilation in the public gathering spaces not housing art.
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Type: Cultural – Public
Architects: Olson Kundig Architects – www.olsonkundigarchitects.com
Design Principal: Jim Olson
Project Area: 42,000 sq ft
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Tim Bies & Benjamin Benschneider