The new Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle, WA is building upon the past, literally. Originally the living quarters and social center for Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino immigrants, the museum’s structure mirrors its exhibits – both preserve the culture and traditions of Chinese and other Asian immigrants while displaying current works from emerging Asian artists. The restoration of the 1910’s building was very well executed with excellent implementation of sustainable strategies, including plenty of re-use and recycling to preserve the old while creating something new.
In approaching the new Wing Luke Asian Museum, Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects strived to save as much as the original building as possible. All of the structure’s windows and doors were repaired and reinstalled. Joists from walls that were removed to bring-in more natural light and were then recycled into new stair treads. Other items such as fire doors that could no longer serve their original purposes were recycled as furniture or decorative works of art. New Light wells suffuse the interior spaces with daylight, while smaller, more intimate quarters on the upper floors maintain much of the character of the original structure.
The new Wing Luke Asian Museum continues to serve its original role as a community space, with plenty of room for events, meetings, and public space for the local neighborhood, juxtaposing the Museum’s historical collection with the works of new Asian Pacific American artists and performers.