Jim Olson – Seattle Architect

Jim Olson Exhibition, Washington State University Architecture, Seattle Architect, USA

Jim Olson, architect : Architecture for Art

Olson Kundig Architects Founder – Architectural Exhibition

14 Mar 2013

Jim Olson Exhibition

Jim Olson Art in Architecture – A Retrospective, The Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA, USA

Mar 10 – Jun 9 2013

The Whatcom Museum opened “Jim Olson: Art in Architecture,” a retrospective 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.

Jim Olson, architect:
Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen design
photo : Tim Bies/Olson Kundig Architects

The exhibition spans Olson’s first fifty years in architecture, exploring his built work as well as the artistic, cultural, natural and personal influences that have made the architect’s career so highly regarded by his peers and sought after by clients. “Art in Architecture” includes a range of materials that showcase Olson’s process, including journals, sketches and drawings, stunning large-scale photo displays, and models. Original art work and furniture from selected residences will be on display, as well as a custom-designed art installation that will provide visitors with a first-hand experience of Olson’s use of space and collaboration with art.

Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen design
Jan Cox

“Jim has been recognized at the highest levels of his profession for how beautifully he integrates art and architecture,” says Executive Director Patricia Leach. “It is so appropriate to be able to showcase his amazing work in the Lightcatcher.”

A companion book, Jim Olson: Art in Architecture, is being released to coincide with the exhibition.

Lightcatcher Building at the Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA, USA, by Jim Olson:
Lightcatcher Building Whatcom Museum
image : Benjamin Benschneider

March 10 – June 9, 2013

The Whatcom Museum
250 Flora Street, Bellingham, WA 98225

Museum hours: Wednesday – Sunday 12pm – 5pm; Thursdays open until 8pm; Saturday open at 10am.

Website: www.whatcommuseum.org

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.

The exhibit will serve as a retrospective for Olson’s 45-­‐year career, highlighting his residential legacy, including his own homes—an apartment in downtown Seattle and his cabin on Puget Sound—as well as his public design work, which encompasses the Lightcatcher Museum in Bellingham, Washington, St. Mark’s Cathedral and the Pike & Virginia Building in Seattle, and the Noah’s Ark Exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

Along with the projects themselves, the exhibition will explore the artistic, cultural, natural and personal influences that have made the architect’s career so highly regarded by his peers and sought after by clients. “Architecture for Art” will include a range of materials that showcase Olson’s process, including notebooks and ephemera, original sketches and drawings, stunning large-­‐scale photo displays, and models. Original art work from selected residences will be on display, as well as a custom-­‐designed art installation that will provide visitors with a first-­‐hand experience with Olson’s use of space and collaboration with art.

“It’s rare that Northwest museums devote a full exhibit to architecture; doubly so for rural eastern Washington,” said WSU Museum of Art Director Chris Bruce. “The combination of world-­‐class architecture and world-­‐class art is something few people experience, so we expect this exhibit to be a revelation for university students and the general public alike.”

“Architecture for Art” opens at the Museum of Art at Washington State University in Pullman on September 30, 2011. The museum will launch a multi-­‐layered web site that includes images and information about Olson’s projects, links to architectural and artistic references, and workshop exercises for students. An extensive video interview will be included in both the exhibition and on the website. Olson will give a lecture about his work on September 29 at 6 pm at the Museum of Art. Additional locations for the exhibit will be announced in coming months. For additional information about the Museum of Art at WSU, visit museum.wsu.edu.

Olson Kundig Architects : information on the Seattle architecture practice

2 Jun 2011

Jim Olson

Jim Olson: Architecture for Art, the first comprehensive exhibition devoted to the career of Jim Olson, founder of Olson Kundig Architects. Organized by the Museum of Art at Washington State University, the exhibition will be on view from September 30 to December 10, 2011. An opening reception and a lecture by Jim Olson will take place on September 29, 2011.

An American Place, Lake Washington, Seattle, from 2004:
Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen design
photo : Paul Warchol

The exhibition will serve as a retrospective for Olson’s 45-year career, including his own homes—an apartment in downtown Seattle and his cabin on Puget Sound—as well as his public design work, which encompasses the Lightcatcher Museum in Bellingham, Washington, St. Mark’s Cathedral and the Pike & Virginia Building in Seattle, and the Noah’s Ark Exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

Jim Olson Houses – extracts below

Jim Olson Houses

Published by The Monacelli Press with an Introduction by Michael Webb

17 Nov 2009

Seattle, WA, September 24, 2009—On November 17, 2009, The Monacelli Press will release Jim Olson Houses, the most comprehensive collection of projects built in the last decade by the founding partner of Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects as well as the most prominent heir to the legacy of the 1950’s Northwest master architects. With a series of photographs documenting both exteriors and interiors at 16 residences in Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, and Hong Kong, the book represents the holistic approach that has guided Olson throughout his career. The result is a vision that delicately mixes the architectural tradition of the Pacific Northwest, the influence of the Pacific Rim, and their focuses on indigenous craft. Jim Olson’s work, as seen in this new book, reveals the mastery of an architect and his subtle understanding of the world around him. The introduction to Jim Olson Houses is written by Michael Webb.

Jim Olson House
photo courtesy The Monacelli Press

Known for his elegant residences, each of which is carefully calibrated to site and client, Olson has produced designs characterized by intangible qualities of light and space. From a Balinese-inspired retreat in Hawaii to a glass farmhouse in eastern Oregon, his luxurious houses are modern in spirit and balance a deep knowledge of architectural history with sensitivity to art and nature. Olson is fascinated by the relationship between art and architecture, and many of the houses and apartments featured in the book have been designed for major art collectors, including two grand art-filled residences on the shores of Lake Washington.

Olson’s attention to proportions as well as the interplay between light, space, and mood is evident in interior spaces distinguished by a striking use of both natural and highly refined materials, masterful modulation of light, sophisticated details, and a careful balance between monumentality and intimacy. In natural settings, his homes often weave into their surroundings as if they had always been there; in urban environments, his designs create and enhance a sense of community.

OSKA house
Benjamin Benschneider

About Jim Olson, FAIA; Principal/Owner, Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects

A graduate of the University of Washington, Department of Architecture, Jim Olson established his own firm in Seattle in 1966. Since that time, the office has grown into a diverse practice with an international reputation. Olson is the recipient of the 2007 Seattle AIA Medal of Honor. He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architecture, has served on the boards of a number of Northwest arts organizations, and is an honorary board member for the Seattle Art Museum. Olson has lectured extensively throughout the United States and in Canada and Mexico on the relationship of art and architecture. Widely published, Olson’s work has been featured in many books including Art + Architecture: The Ebsworth Collection and Residence, which focuses on a single project and a monograph on the firm’s work, Architecture, Art and Craft: Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects, published in 2003.

Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen house
Benjamin Benschneider

Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects

Led by five partners, Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects is an architecture studio based in Seattle, which was awarded the 2009 AIA Architecture Firm Award by the American Institute of Architects. The more than 80-person 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 and was joined by Rick Sundberg 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. In 1996, Tom Kundig joined Olson and Sundberg as partner, bringing a new level of creative exploration, building the international reputation of the office, and adding accolades, including Kundig’s receipt of the National Design Award from the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt in 2006. 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.


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects information

Tom Kundig : American architect

Jim Olson Buildings – Selection

Lightcatcher Building at the Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA, USA
2010
Lightcatcher Building Whatcom Museum
image : Benjamin Benschneider
Lightcatcher Building Whatcom Museum

Wing Luke Museum, WA, USA
2008
Wing Luke Museum
image : Lara Swimmer
Wing Luke Asian Museum

American Architecture

Seattle Architects

Washington Buildings

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Jim Olson Houses

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