LIVING COMPUTERS: MUSEUM + LABS
SODO District – Seattle, WA
Opened Fall 2016
Transforming the first floor of a 1930s warehouse into a modern museum about computers creates an opportunity to juxtapose a utilitarian industrial space with new technology. Spotlighting the exhibits is tantamount to the museum’s design and resulted in keeping the surroundings neutral, in order to frame the displays and emphasize the themes of technology and interactivity. Close collaboration with the project’s owners and exhibit designers led to a fresh, “room within a room” layout that plays on the warehouse’s functional, open-space construction.
For instance, a shipping container serves as a lab for digital arts, and a new mezzanine provides upper-level display space. Access to the mezzanine is achieved through a staircase strategically installed in a former freight elevator shaft. Fitted into the elevator’s preset dimensions, its steel frame and wood treads amplify the space’s raw structure as it angles into the main space with a cantilevered landing. Textured surfaces, such as exposed board-form concrete columns, reclaimed wood, and a subdued color palette, all harmonize to create an ideal setting for the technology-driven exhibits. Custom millwork divides the otherwise open warehouse, distinguishing different visitor’s areas with an entry desk, tech shop, and café.
- Industrially designed space to support eight or more rotating exhibits
- New room for a Digital Arts Studio, with mezzanine above for display
- Conversion of freight-elevator shaft to stairwell
- Tech store with T-shirt wall and display areas
- Café with movable counters for events
- Three new technology lab areas and storage room
- Custom millwork to delineate spaces and enhance visitor navigation
15,000 SF on first floor, 60,000 SF overall
CLIENT – Living Computers:Museum + Labs
ARCHITECT – Tiscareno Associates