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Olson Kundig, a Seattle-based design practiceThursday 22 December 2016
Olson Kundig is a Seattle-based design practice founded on the idea that buildings can have a positive impact as bridges between nature, culture, and people, and that inspiring surroundings have a positive effect on people’s lives. Led by five owners, the firm’s work can be found across the globe, with projects as wide ranging as huts to high rises, homes—often for art collectors—to academic, cultural and civic projects, museums and exhibition design, places of worship, creative production, urban design and interior design.
Today we will present your Olson Kundig and his amazing work. Take a look at some examples of the outstanding works led by Olson Kundig.
Website: Olson Kundig Architects
-> Ice Cube, Seattle, Washington
ICE CUBE, a temporary installation designed by Olson Kundig, showcases the stages of the natural water cycle as the ice shifts from opaque to translucent. As the 10-ton ice cube evaporates and melts, it offers a cool respite to visitors and scatters ambient sunlight and colors throughout the park. The pure form of the cube will gradually erode in the summer sun, marking the passage of time as its waters slowly return to the sea.
-> Jewish Museum Berlin Kindermuseum, Berlin, Germany
Alan Maskin, Owner/Principal at Olson Kundig, has won first prize in the Jewish Museum Berlin Foundation’s competition for a new Kindermuseum.
Houses and Cabins
-> House of Light, Bellevue, Washington
A couple commissioned this wood, steel, and glass house on the shore of Lake Washington as a place to display their collection of contemporary art and to entertain fellow enthusiasts. On the landward side, the site is anchored by a 130-foot-long sculpture by Richard Serra. On the lake side, reflecting pools step down from the facade, mediating between the house and the water. A slatted metal canopy shades the interior from direct sun, while allowing glimpses of the sky through large spans of glass. Buffalo grass on the flat roof and trellises with hanging vines integrate the house and garden.
-> Hong Kong Villa, Shek-O, China
Set on a rocky hillside overlooking the South China Sea in Shek-O, a historic fishing village in the southeast corner of Hong Kong Island, this house is designed to face the elements and bring in the stunning views of the coastal scenery. The design includes large expanses of glass revealing dramatic views in every direction; seamless transitions from inside to outside merge the house into its landscape, while broad overhangs provide protection from the tropical sun and driving rains.
Cultural and Exhibits
-> The 5th Facade Project, Seattle, Washington
WELCOME TO THE 5TH FACADE is part of the 5th Facade Project—a series of built and conceptual investigations into the neglected top layer of cities—the rooftops. A science fiction narrative and five graphics were created for the Fairy Tales 2016: Architecture Storytelling Competition hosted by Blank Space. This video is based on the Fairy Tales 2016 submission.
The streets were still lined with old neo-classical brick buildings that dated to the nineteenth century, but my former architecture office in the Washington Shoe Factory Building had new additive layers. The entire south façade was moving.
-> Museum of Art, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington
Olson Kundig has been selected to design the new Museum of Art at Washington State University. The firm was selected following a national search.
The building will feature an open and welcoming entrance that can serve as a destination gathering place for students, faculty and the public. New spaces will include permanent collection galleries, an outdoor sculpture garden and galleries for special exhibitions. The estimated $15 million project is expected to begin construction in 2015. The recent $5 million gift from arts patron Jordon Schnitzer, has enabled the museum to move into active fundraising. Noted landscape architect Gustafson Guthrie Nichol will provide landscape design.
Mixed-use and Commercial
-> Microsoft Cybercrime Center, Redmond, Washington
The Cybercrime Center, combining the company’s legal and technical expertise as well as cutting-edge tools and technology, was designed to be a functional showcase for the innovative work and a collaborative meeting space. The project scope included interior architecture, environmental brand and interior furnishings.
The Cybercrime Center design challenge was to transform an existing office space into an inspiring and enjoyable work environment where Cybercrime staff can meet with global partners to collectively fight cybercrime, while simultaneously building an environmental brand that interprets the work for visitors who come to learn more about the Cybercrime Center.
-> Shinsegae International, Seoul, South Korea
The country’s oldest and largest importer of luxury fashion, Shinsegae International imports designs from around the world and creates lines of their own.
In the design of this new headquarters, Olson Kundig sought a more efficient way to help the company house its internal design operations alongside its imported lines. The program for the 15-story tower includes in-house fashion studios, purchasing offices, areas for processing incoming stock and VIP reception rooms for hosting world-class designers and executives. Two floors of retail/display at the base face onto a public plaza. A lush rooftop garden provides a sky-level retreat for employees.
-> JW Marriot Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa
Though separated from the Pacific by a 35 foot-tall dune that stretches 750 feet across the front of the property, the Puerto Los Cabos Resort creates an immediate connection from entry to ocean through a horizon-framing main arrival hall and intuitive, adventure-evoking pathways throughout the resort.
Just past the main entry, two separate infinity pools appear to join, creating a visual connection to the ocean beyond. The horizon takes center stage from nearly every place in the resort. As guests move throughout the property, they are greeted with unexpected views of the water, framed by native landscaping and sporadically (but intentionally) interrupted by the incorporated sand dune.
-> JOEY Yorkdale, Toronto, Ontario
Focused on building envelopes and exteriors, their work is intended to create an engaging and materially rich setting, and an enhanced site specific response for both renovations to existing restaurants and new restaurant locations. One of the first newly realized restaurants—JOEY Yorkdale, located in Toronto, Ontario—is now open for business.
Places of Worship
-> Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Seattle, Washington
The design for this richly complex project enhances the Gethsemane Lutheran Church’s already significant presence in downtown Seattle by updating an existing 1950s building and integrating it with a wide range of program elements (worship, housing and social services).
-> St. Mark’s Cathedral Expansion and Renovation
Olson Kundig’s 1997 renovation of Saint Mark’s Cathedral enhanced and enlarged upon the spiritual qualities inherent in the building, while improving liturgical and functional elements. As part of the expansion and remodeling, the concrete walls of the west facade were covered with Indiana limestone, completing the exterior as originally intended. A 21-foot-diameter great window was included as part of the new west wall, preserving the airy quality of light existing in the cathedral prior to the renovation.
Interiors and Products
-> Honk Kong Villa Interiors, Shek-O, China
Tucked into the majestic hillside of Shek-O, the serene grounds of this villa are a rarity in the dense urban sprawl of Hong Kong.
Uncompromisingly modern in its architectural language, the design remains contextual, maintaining its focus on a large central courtyard as in the traditional Chinese way. From the architecture to the interior design, art and furnishings, this home is a product of Pacific Northwest design and craftsmanship and is—above all—a comfortable respite for the owner to live and entertain.
-> The Pierre Interiors, San Juan Islands, Washington
The materiality of The Pierre—mild steel, smooth concrete, and drywall—creates a neutral backdrop for the interior furnishings and artwork and the exterior views to the bay and surrounding landscape. With deep connections to Pacific Northwest modernists including Jean Jongeward, the owner of this home sought to recreate touchstone moments from her life through art and interior design.
Academic and Civic
-> Heritage University Expansion, Toppenish, Washington
Located in rural Toppenish, Washington, Heritage University is a growing and transforming campus. Olson Kundig first worked with the university to envision how their campus could expand in the future through 2025. The outcome was a master plan that created a better sense of home for students, creating clustered pods of buildings instead of the former disjointed and spread out campus.
-> Bellevue Botanical Garden Visitor Center
Since opening in 1992, Bellevue Botanical Garden has become one of the most visited public gardens in the Pacific Northwest. The design of the new visitor center defers to nature, blurring the boundaries between architecture and gardens while creating inspirational spaces for programs and expanded services.
The centerpiece of the improvements, which include new construction, renovation and site work, is a new 8,500 square foot visitor center complex that includes an outdoor covered orientation space, a gift shop, meeting rooms, office space and restrooms. A sheltering roof, fernery walls and small garden spaces unite nature with architecture, creating a flow between indoors and out. Multi-purpose classrooms and flexible meeting spaces are designed to meet the rising interest in all-ages education and accommodate a wide range of programming.
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