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King Street Station - Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. Seattle, Washington. Image license: Olson Kundig Architects. Schacht Aslani Architects and Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. ©Copyright 2019 Benjamin Benschneider All Rights Reserved. Third party use may be arranged by contacting Benjamin Benschneider Photography. Email: bbenschneider@comcast.net
Photo: Benjamin Benschneider

Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

Seattle, Washington

Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

Seattle, Washington

  • Design Principal

    Kirsten R. Murray

  • Principal

    Jerry Garcia

Commissioned by the Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), this dynamic new space for arts and culture responds directly to feedback from community focus groups with an emphasis on people of color. Beginning in 2016, ARTS worked with Olson Kundig to create concept designs for the new space. Located on the third floor of King Street Station, the 17,500-square-foot ARTS space designed by Schacht Aslani Architects provides flexible, co-use areas for community gathering in addition to professional office and gallery space.

The design contains a large multi-disciplinary arts presentation gallery; a public “living room” lobby; a multi-use conference room for large meetings and public presentations; an artist-in-residence space; as well as offices and meeting rooms. In the presentation space, kinetic gallery walls designed by Olson Kundig enable the community and artists to reconfigure the displays as needed for changing exhibitions and events. Suspended from a custom-designed elevated track inspired by the railroad tracks that serve the station below, a set of eight movable walls with integrated lighting support a wide range of displays and spatial configurations. The result is a flexible space that can easily transform to meet the evolving needs of ARTS and the community.

Throughout, new architectural interventions emphasize transparency, highlighting and revealing historic elements of the original building such as the historic masonry and steel structural system, ornamental stairway, and original terrazzo floor. In addition, the construction of the third floor met rigorous sustainability requirements—it is the first City of Seattle funded project to be designed to LEED® v4 Gold certification.

This project continues the long legacy of creative ‘found’ arts spaces in Pioneer Square, which is otherwise rapidly transforming. The introduction of a long‑term public and cultural hub in the beautifully restored King Street Station is a real benefit to the city. Kirsten R. Murray, FAIA

Team