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photo of Seattle Art Museum Rental Gallery and Bookstore
Photo: Chris Burnside / Olson Kundig

Seattle Art Museum Rental Gallery and Bookstore

Seattle, Washington

Seattle Art Museum Rental Gallery and Bookstore

Seattle, Washington

  • Design Principal

    Kirsten Ring Murray

With the return of the sales and rental gallery to its First Avenue location, the Seattle Art Museum sought to transform their retail space to accommodate the museum’s evolving needs. Locating the rental gallery on the lower lever created a feeling of permeability; the gallery is visible from the street but still maintains a sense of security around art on display. To reduce construction time and cost, existing storage and display systems were reused and reconfigured to mimic other gallery space but still highlight point of sale. Existing white terrazzo floors were uncover and refinished.

To create an independent presence for SAM Books and make room for SAM Gallery the bookstore function was shifted to the forum level above and now occupies the former video gallery.

From start of design through construction the project was completed in four months. SAM Shop was also able to maintain normal business throughout the renovation.




Fefer, Mark D. “SAM Rental Gallery.” Seattle Weekly, 12 Nov. 2003, 47. Print.


Gragg, Randy. “Building Culture–A Decade of Learning.” Arts Patron, Sept. 2000, 17. Print.