The Tacoma Art Museum and Seattle architects Olson Kundig brought their plans for the museum’s new Western American art wing before Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission at a meeting Wednesday night. Details on the renderings include a close-up of the building material – a Tacoma-made fiber and resin composite called Richlite – the louvred windows which will allow street views into the wing’s sculpture hall, layout of five internal galleries and a metal grill on the Pacific Avenue side of the overhanging canopy.
The 16,000-square-foot wing is budgeted at $15.5 million, and purpose-built to house the newly-donated, 280-piece Western art collection of German billionaire Erivan Haub and his wife Helga, who have a home on Fox Island. The Haubs are paying for part of the expansion, which also includes renovation of the existing lobby, street entrance and parking lot entrance areas. You can read more details in Craig Sailor’s story here.
The Commission had no big objections, says architect and commissioner James Steel, but there were some questions about transparency from the street and whether the ivy slope beneath the cantilevered wing would be closed in for safety.
“They did improve the museum’s entrance – it’s more recognizable and transparent from the street,” says Steel. “They improved the pedestrian feel, and it makes a stronger relationship to Tollefson Plaza.”
What’s interesting about the proposal, which the Commission will vote on May 8 (it has jurisdiction over the exterior look of the building, which is sited in the Union Depot conservation district), are the plans, which show close-up details. Read more »