"There is also a kind of modesty and realism here, a sensible view of future expansion and potential, of public access and civic space. In both places the architecture adopts a refreshing position in the background: this is building for art not building as art."
Financial Times, May 26, 2007
Designed by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture, SAM's downtown museum expansion features a striking vertical design and continuous ribbon of space that allows for the expression of natural light. It opens SAM up to the city, connecting street activity to the life inside the museum. The expansion accommodates the museum's growing collections, programs and audiences while enhancing downtown Seattle's cultural and economic vitality.
The downtown expansion of the Seattle Art Museum opened with 118,000 sq. ft. of new space, with the ability to expand into additional space in phases, in correlation with the growth in audience and collections.
Learn more about the design team.
Expansion design features
The design for the Seattle Art Museum expansion by Allied Works Architecture embodies change and transformation. The site is located at the juncture of Seattle and Elliott Bay, with the building formed by this intersection of man-made environment and natural landscape. Transparent public spaces engage the life of the city with an immediacy that joins street and lobby, sidewalk and gallery.
While rising through the galleries, one is continually oriented to the landscape beyond. As the Museum expands over the next 20 years, the building will transform and grow internally, creating a diverse sequence of galleries that intersect vertically to create a continuous experience of art and space.