Olson Kundig Architects Design New Maritime Heritage Museum Near Seattle

rendering courtesy Olson Kundig

Ground was recently broken on the historic Foss Waterway Seaport rehabilitation project, located on the Puget Sound's working waterfront. Olson Kundig Architects will reinforce existing architecture and add new features, including a maritime heritage museum, boat building shop, spaces for indoor educational programs, and a children's learning center.

"The architectural design concept is to bring out the intrinsic beauty of the building and the boats it houses," says Jim Olson, FAIA, founder of Olson Kundig Architects and project lead. "The structure of the building is like a heroic sculpture. Like many of the boats, the building is a real community treasure."

Once a part of the commercial Balfour Dock, a .9 mile-long timber frame warehouse built in 1900, the Foss Waterway Seaport building is the last remaining section of Tacoma's downtown shoreline. The future 45,000 square foot Seaport will also boast 11,000 feet of docks and floats as well as public spaces for festivals and events, making it the largest maritime heritage education center on the West Coast.

The $7.7 million-dollar transformation is funded in part by the City of Tacoma, along with an on-going capital campaign. The first round of construction began last March with the replacement of the structure's north front wall and is expected to reach completion by 2015.

Learn more about the project at olsonkundigarchitects.com and fosswaterwayseaport.org.