Skip to Content
photo of Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture

Seattle, Washington

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture

Seattle, Washington

  • Design Principal

    Tom Kundig

  • Principal

    Stephen Yamada-Heidner

The Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture is the oldest public museum in Washington State with a collection of over 16 million artifacts and specimens, ranging from totem poles and gemstones to dinosaur fossils.

The new 105,000-square-foot building will break down traditional museum barriers between public and “back-of-house” spaces, integrating collections and research labs with traditional galleries to create an experience that invites everyone—from curators to visitors, educators to students—to engage in the dynamic process of scientific and cultural discovery.

The new building will transform the northwest corner of the University of Washington campus, welcoming the community with a native plant garden and an open “Burke Yard” that can be used for community gatherings and events. The project is targeting LEED® Gold certification and anticipated to open in Fall 2019.

We wanted to create a simple, beautiful, rational and flexible building that will serve the Burke for hundreds of years. It is an inviting place not only for the public, but also for the scientists, researchers and curators of today and tomorrow. Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA




Kiley, Brendan. “How not to run anyone over with a dinosaur: The Burke Museum moves into its new digs.” The Seattle Times, 14 Feb. 2019. Web.

Kiley, Brendan. “How to move a museum.” The Seattle Times, 17 Feb. 2019, E1, E6. Print.

“New Burke Museum opens Oct. 12.” Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, 26 Jul. 2019, 1, 10. Print.

Phung, Timothy. “All the Burke needs is ‘U.'” The Daily of the University of Washington, 28 May 2019. Web.



Enlow, Clair. “Burke Museum Chooses Team.” Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, July 1996. Print.