The Wing Luke Asian Museum showcases the heritage of the Asian American population in Seattle. The old Chinatown building which the museum chose to renovate has a long history within the community. It had been built in 1910 by a group of Chinese men who pooled their resources to create a hotel and apartments for Asian immigrant laborers and families. Prior to Olson Kundig’s involvement, a scheme had been developed which called for gutting the original building to make way for the museum. However, Olson Kundig’s principal-in-charge, Rick Sundberg, took the opposite approach. Sundberg decided that as much of the old building as possible should remain. He told his project team, “nothing leaves the building.” The team became extremely clever, looking for opportunities to reuse any material in the old building which had to replaced or changed. For example, old floorboards were reused as treads for the main stair and old metal fire doors clad the face of the museum’s ticketing counter. In the end, reuse provided the Wing Luke Asian Museum a connection to the rich history of the community it serves.
Reclaimed Materials (by application): Metals, Wood/Lumber
Location: Seattle, WA
Date of Completion: 2008
Architect: Olson Kundig Allen Architects (formerly Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects),
Client: Wing Luke Asian Museum
Contractor: Marpac Construction
Architectural Record Article