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Olson Kundig : Washington Architecture Practice
Seattle Architecture Practice, WA, USA
6 Sep 2012
Olson Kundig Architects - Latest News
Underbelly premieres as part of the Seattle World's Fair 50th anniversary celebration, Seattle, WA, USA
A Degenerate Art Ensemble and Olson Kundig Architects collaboration
Degenerate Art Ensemble (DAE) and Olson Kundig Architects will present the world premier of Underbelly as part of Seattle's Next 50 celebrations on October 5th and 6th at the Seattle Center. The four-performance engagement--supported by a grant from the Seattle Center Foundation and part of the World's Fair 50th anniversary--will bring Seattle Center's subterranean world to life through dance, live music, and multimedia installations.
Following a tremendous year for Seattle-based DAE and Olson Kundig Architects in their respective mediums, this unprecedented collaborative project will stretch the boundaries of arts experiences. DAE's artistic director and lead performer Haruko Nishumura, music director Joshua Kohl and designer Alan Maskin of Olson Kundig Architects are joined by over 50 artists and technicians to create Underbelly, a meditation on the Northwest's colorful past.
"When asked to create a proposal and grant application with DAE as part of The Next 50 celebrations, we researched the engineered subterranean underpinnings that supported the 1962 Seattle World's Fair structures," says Maskin. "This subterranean world became the primary set location for Underbelly and was a fantastic venue for our team to react to and build upon."
"This collaboration reminds me that a space has so much energy--and if you give a space a full sensory opportunity, it begins to speak," says Nishimura. "We have tried to find ways to harmonize with the space as well as play with its disharmony."
Nishimura, recipient of a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship, will embody three misunderstood and controversial female personalities from the Northwest's past, including Gracie Hanson, a cabaret club operator who built the short-lived Sin Alley as part of the 1962 World's Fair on the very same grounds where Underbelly will be performed.
"It has been an unbelievable experience to work with Olson Kundig Architects on this project,"says Kohl. "Working with the Olson Kundig Architects visionaries continually opens our eyes to completely unexpected possibilities of the concepts of space and perspective. Our mind jams have been filled with surprises and delights. With this project we are embracing the strangeness of the space, the history of our community and stretching the bounds of our media. This work is an artistic meditation on the people, the space and the imagination of the landscape in which we live."
Additional contributors to the multisensory experience include renowned installation artists Ben Beres and Zach Culler of SuttonBeresCuller, lighting installation duo Ben Zamora and Etta Lilianthal of Lilienthal I Zamora, video artist Leo Mayberry, painter/printmaker Romson Regarde Bustillo and Bay Area vocalist/drummer Dohee Lee. Costume artist Alenka Loush, photographer Bruce Tom, animation artist Reilly Sinanan and video artists Ken Rome and Robert Twomey will also help bring the experience to life.
Maskin was joined by his Olson Kundig Architects colleagues Blair Payson and John Nebendahl to design many of the props and set pieces that are integrated into the site and used as elements in the video installations.
Oct 5 8pm & 10pm
Oct 6 8pm & 10pm
LOCATION: Seattle Center
Olson Kundig Architects - Key Recent Buildings
Bellevue Botanical Garden Buildings, WA, USA
image © Olson Kundig Architects
Olson Kundig Architects : Bellevue Botanical Garden Building
Lightcatcher Building at the Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA, USA
image : Benjamin Benschneider
Olson Kundig Architects : Lightcatcher Building Whatcom Museum
14 Jun 2012
The Bo Bartlett Center, RiverPark Campus of Columbus State University, Georgia, USA
image : Rollerhaus
Olson Kundig Architects is pleased to announce that it is designing The Bo Bartlett Center, an 18,425 square foot gallery and learning center at the RiverPark Campus of Columbus State University in Georgia. Tom Kundig, FAIA, a principal and owner of the firm, is leading the design of the project. Located on the second story of a former textile warehouse, the Center will include a grand lobby, a main gallery, "Bo's Brain," a visitor's gallery, storage and archive space for Bartlett's work, and office and reception areas. Upon completion, the Center will serve as an experiential learning center and cultural hub for the visual arts while affording visitors a broad range of arts experiences offered within the University's arts district.
"The Center's design concept celebrates the simplicity of the warehouse space," says Tom Kundig. "With the exception of a few modifications including the removal of a portion of roof to make room for a large skylight, the project is a minimal insertion of pivoting and shifting walls intended to highlight art."
Main gallery, The Bo Bartlett Center. Rendering by Rollerhaus
The addition of pivoting and shifting walls will enable artists and curators to convert the gallery spaces as needed to suit the scale and shape of the changing exhibits.
In order to bring daylight into the mostly windowless space, a large skylight that runs the length of the building will be installed. Diffuser shades will move to adjust the amount of light entering the space.
A "box" in the center of the gallery, dubbed "Bo's Brain," will include an interactive research center where students and scholars can access Bartlett's archival materials, including sketch books, correspondence, journals, recordings, photographs, artistic notes, memorabilia, and objects d'art.
When finished, The Bo Bartlett Center will house and display more than 300 paintings and drawings by Bartlett. The visitor's gallery will feature work of visiting American artists who will also teach master classes at the Center. On occasion, the gallery will also exhibit pieces from CSU's Permanent Collection of more than 500 works of art and objects such as the Benno and Babette Rothschild New Guinea Collection.
The project is a collaboration between Columbus State University and the design team, which includes Seattle-based Olson Kundig Architects and Columbus-based Hecht Burdeshaw Architects. Tom Kundig, FAIA, of Olson Kundig Architects led the design through the conceptual design phase. Fundraising is currently underway.
Foss Waterway Seaport, Tacoma, Washington, USA
image from architects
Foss Waterway Seaport - 25 May 2012
Olson Kundig Architects is pleased to announce that work has started on the historic rehabilitation and adaptive re-use of the Foss Waterway Seaport, Puget Sound’s premier maritime heritage, education and recreation center. When building rehabilitation is completed, the new 45,000 square foot public facility will feature an expansive maritime heritage museum, compelling indoor program spaces (including a K-16 marine science and environmental education center), a heritage boat building shop and the “Discovery Wharf” children’s learning center.
29 Sep 2011
Olson Kundig Architects Exhibition
Jim Olson : Architecture for Art
First Retrospective Devoted to the Architect’s Career
30 Sep - 10 Dec 2011
The Museum of Art at Washington State University is organizing “Architecture for Art,” the first comprehensive exhibition devoted to the career of Jim Olson, one of the Northwest’s most significant architects and founder of the internationally recognized Seattle-‐based firm, Olson Kundig Architects.
About Jim Olson
Jim Olson is the founding partner of Olson Kundig Architects and the most prominent heir to the legacy of the 1950’s Northwest master architects. A 1963 graduate of the University of Washington, Jim Olson served early apprenticeships with two of the Northwest’s legendary architects: Paul Kirk and Ralph Anderson. In 1966, he established his first firm in Seattle and in 1970 established the partnership Olson/Walker.
The office has since grown into a diverse practice with an international reputation as Olson Kundig Architects. Among Olson’s numerous built designs are residences for major art collectors around the world, the Pike & Virginia Building in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, and the recent Lightcatcher at the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington. He has served on the boards of numerous arts organizations including the Seattle Art Museum, and lectures extensively on the relationship of architecture and art.
Olson’s work has appeared in publications worldwide, including the New York Times, Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, Art + Auction, Monocle, and Interior Design. In addition to the most recent monograph, Jim Olson Houses (The Monacelli Press) which features sixteen of his projects, his work has also been featured in Art + Architecture: the Ebsworth Collection and Residence (William Stout Publishers) which focuses on the home of an art collector; and a monograph on the firm’s work, Architecture, Art and Craft: Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects (The Monacelli Press).
Jim Olson : Architecture for Art Exhibition, Seattle, WA, USA
photo : Paul Warchol
21 Mar 2011
Olson Kundig Architects Architecture Awards News
Olson Kundig Architects wins Two National AIA Housing Awards
Art Stable and 1111 E. Pike are honored in the Multifamily Living category
Olson Kundig Architects is pleased to announce that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has honored two of the firm’s projects with 2011 National AIA Housing Awards. Art Stable and 1111 E. Pike have received awards in the Multifamily Living category, and are among the eighteen projects recognized nationwide. The AIA’s Housing Awards Program was established to recognize the best in housing design and promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource.
Tom Kundig, FAIA, led the design of both projects. “It’s an honor to receive this award for the first two multifamily, urban infill buildings we’ve completed in many years,” says Kundig. “These projects are located in distinctive neighborhoods and are built to serve different purposes. As architects, we tried to come up with unique solutions based on the context of each project. It’s exciting to continue to visit 1111 and Art Stable and see how they are becoming part of their communities.”
images : Benjamin Benschneider
Art Stable (above) is an urban infill project in the rapidly developing South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle. Built on the site of a former horse stable, the building carries its working history into the future with highly adaptable live/work units. Both front and back elevations of the building are active. The alley-facing façade features an 80-foot 5- inch tall hinge, davit crane and five steel-clad, hand-cranked doors that cover nearly a third of the façade. The system references a warehousing tradition in how it moves oversize objects into the building. On the street side, large hinged windows open to provide natural ventilation throughout the units. The building draws upon the architectural concepts of prospect and refuge, transposed to an urban setting.
The shell and core of Art Stable are built to last over 100 years. Units within the building are designed to accommodate flexibility in use and changes over time, and are zoned for both residential and commercial use. An energy-efficient radiant heating and cooling is supported by an innovative system, in which geothermal loops were inserted into the structural piles.
The jury commented on Art Stable: “This is a home for artists that rises to the level of high art itself….Its style, along with the operable doors and the crane on the roof, seems very Dutch in feel. It is very cleverly detailed…..It almost has a handmade look – it seems to represent what the art is all about and harken artists to the workshop.”
Art Stable recently was announced as the residential architect design award’s 2011 Project of the Year.
images © Francis Zera
1111 E. Pike (above) brings architectural diversity to the Pike/Pine neighborhood by serving as a modern counterpoint to nearby remodeled historic structures. The site’s history as part of Seattle’s “auto row” is captured in the 1111’s tall, wide windows and high ceilings, the use of steel, and an exterior of panelized siding with a palette inspired by classic car colors from the 1950s. It was designed so that owners would be able to choose the exterior color of their unit from a pre-selected set, much like selecting your own car color, resulting in a mix-and-match aesthetic.
image © Tim Bies
The owner and developer of this project, a long time resident of the neighborhood, wanted to support the economic and social diversity of the neighborhood by providing affordable housing. Simple materials and straightforward construction kept costs low, enabling people who work in the community to live there as well. Inside each unit, a custom-designed Puzzle Door allows owners to adapt their space as needed. 1111 E. Pike meets LEED requirements for Development Density, Site Selection, Alternate Transportation, and Storm-water Management.
The jury comments on 1111 E. Pike included: “Uplifting – its everchanging face is arguably its best delight!...I love the flexibility of exterior spaces….The architect and developer allowed the future owners to personalize their unit by choosing their own exterior color – one of the classic car colors – which gives the project richness and a joyful appearance.”
The jury for the 2011 Housing Awards includes: Katherine Austin (jury chair), AIA, Katherine Austin Architect; Claire Conroy, Residential Architecture Magazine, Editorial Director; Mike Jackson, FAIA, Historical Preservation Agency, State of Illinois; Luis Jauregui, AIA, Jaurequi, Inc. and Marilys Nepomechie, FAIA, Florida International University Miami.
28 Oct 2010
Olson Kundig Architects Awards News
The Lightcatcher at the Whatcom Museum and the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, two museum projects by Olson Kundig Architects, are among the recipients of the American Architecture Awards for 2010, given by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. The awards will be presented in the “New World Architecture” exhibition at “The City and The World: Madrid Symposium” in Madrid, Spain. Organized by The Chicago Athenaeum, the exhibition will open on Thursday, November 4, 2010.
image : Lara Swimmer
Wing Luke Asian Museum building
After Madrid, the exhibition will travel to Contemporary Space Athens in Athens, Greece. In April, 2011 the exhibition is scheduled to travel to Istanbul.
The American Architecture Awards are one of the most prestigious building awards in the United States that honor new and cutting-edge design.
Olson Kundig Architects Practice News
Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects
Changes Firm’s Name to
Olson Kundig Architects
Taking effect January 2010
Seattle, WA, November 17, 2009—Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects will change its name to Olson Kundig Architects starting January 1, 2010. The new name reflects the growing nature of a firm that has evolved since its founding in the late 1960s and whose vision is now marked by the rich and varied personalities of its five owners, Jim Olson, Tom Kundig, Rick Sundberg, Kirsten Murray and Alan Maskin.
photo : Tim Bies
The current firm name has been in use since 2000 but is no longer appropriately reflecting the partnership: Alan Maskin and Kirsten Murray became partners in 2008 and Scott Allen left the firm in 2009 to create Scott Allen Architecture. In addition, Rick Sundberg, who remains as a partner, is in the planning stages for the creation of a new philanthropic organization focused on architecture. With all these changes and growth, the owners decided to simplify the name of the firm to Olson Kundig Architects.
More information re Olson Kundig Architects online soon
Olson Kundig - Practice Information
Architecture studio based in Seattle, WA, USA
About Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects
Led by five owners, Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects (to become Olson Kundig Architects starting January 1, 2010) is an architecture studio based in Seattle, which received the 2009 AIA Architecture Firm Award by the American Institute of Architects. With a staff of more than 75, the office combines the capacity of a large firm with the intensity of a small one, and its commitment to vigorous, critical design review sessions has infused its designers with a shared sense of commitment to every project and an appreciation of the technical and artistic elements involved in the realization of a building. The studio specializes in a range of projects both nationally and internationally including mixed-use buildings and complexes; academic and civic projects; museums and cultural spaces; exhibit design; places of worship; single use residential projects, often for art collectors; and interior design.
Founding partner Jim Olson began working in the late1960s on projects that would explore the relationship between dwellings and the landscape they inhabit. Rick Sundberg joined Olson as partner in 1975 for a period of years that was marked by an increased commitment to urbanism and civic work with major projects in the Northwest. Such projects included the award-winning Pike & Virginia Building, the first contemporary structure to be built in Seattle’s Pike Place Market Historic District in 50 years. In1998, Tom Kundig joined Olson and Sundberg as an owner, bringing a new level of creative exploration, building the international reputation of the office, including Kundig’s receipt of the National Design Award from the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt in 2008. Alan Maskin and Kirsten Murray became partners in 2008, continuing the evolution of the firm and furthering its commitment to the craft of architecture through expanded work in exhibition design, interiors, and connections to urban and rural landscapes.
photo : Tim Bies
Wabi Sabi house, Houston, Texas, USA
photo : Don Glentzer
2009 AIA Architecture Firm Award : Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects
Tom Kundig architect - Seattle practice
Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects : Wing Luke Asian Art Museum
Tom Kundig : Idaho building
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