olson sundberg kundig allen architects: lightcatcher at whatcom museum
 
olson sundberg kundig allen architects: lightcatcher at whatcom museum
sep 11, 2009

olson sundberg kundig allen architects: lightcatcher at whatcom museum

‘lightcatcher’ at whatcom museum all photos tim bies all images courtesy olson sundberg kundig allen architects

jim olson of olson sundberg kundig allen architects has designed the ‘lightcatcher’ at whatcom museum, seattle, a new addition to the city of bellingham’s downtown arts and cultural district. the structure will add 42 000 square feet of space to the museum and will house state-of-the-art galleries for art exhibitions and the new family interactive gallery (fig).

the lightcatcher is named for its focal point and most innovative feature – a translucent wall 37 feet high and 180 feet long that captures the northwest’s most precious natural resource, sunlight. the building utilizes natural materials endemic to the region.

at the heart of the 11.6 million USD project, the ‘lightcatcher’ gently curves to form a spacious exterior courtyard, bridging the museum’s interior and exterior spaces. during daylight hours, the light-porous wall floods the halls and galleries inside with luminosity, serving as a beautiful, eco-friendly, and energy-saving ‘light fixture’ that will also help to ventilate the building. the elegant wall also reflects light into the ‘garden of the ancients,’ the museum’s courtyard. in the evening, the ‘lightcatcher’ glows with the changing colors of the structure’s interior illumination.   olson sundberg kundig allen architects: lightcatcher at whatcom museum the lightcatcher in the early evening

olson sundberg kundig allen architects: lightcatcher at whatcom museum the lightcatcher in the evening

olson sundberg kundig allen architects: lightcatcher at whatcom museum interior of the whatcom museum

olson sundberg kundig allen architects: lightcatcher at whatcom museum the lightcatcher

olson sundberg kundig allen architects: lightcatcher at whatcom museum rendering of the lightcatcher

  • I live about 6 blocks from there. It’s a beautiful building and a beautiful town.

    Karl Peterson

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