Benjamin Benschneider

After working off center-stage on the main Tacoma Art Museum building, Seattle's Olson Kundig Architects recently wrapped its own 16,000-square-foot expansion to the structure it helped AIA Gold Medalist Antoine Predock, FAIA, design.

The firm served as executive architect on the Predock building, which Tacoma Art Museum moved into in 2003. Founded in 1935, the museum focuses on Northwest art, and this $15.5-million expansion includes 7,000 square feet of exhibition space for the controversial Haub Family Collection of Western American Art. It opened in November of last year.

Benjamin Benschneider

Benjamin Benschneider

Olson Kundig Architects won the AIA Architecture Firm Award in 2009, when it was then named Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects. (ARCHITECT profiled the firm in 2012.) The Olson Kundig-designed wing includes an entry canopy composed of aluminum grating and stainless steel panels that connect the new and the old structure. The firm also installed moveable sun screens constructed from the local material Richlite.

Critic Lawrence W. Cheek wrote in The Seattle Times that the Predock building was "uncharacteristically subtle" and "needed serious juicing." On the addition, Brian Miller wrote in Seattle Weekly, "It's not great, it doesn't need to be great, but it does a much better job of meeting Pacific Avenue." Cheek has a similar sentiment: "they've wrought the needed improvements. What they didn't do is transform it into a spectacle or eclipse Predock in a shower of architectural stardust. It's a serene, respectful and earthbound redo."

Kyle Johnson

For more information and images about the Haub Family Galleries at the Tacoma Art Museum, visit ARCHITECT's Project Gallery.