The Lightcatcher, an Iconic New Northwestern Museum | Home Design Find

Home Design Find

No Comments »

The Lightcatcher, an Iconic New Northwestern Museum

Lightcatcher3 architecture
Precious glowing rays of Northwestern sunlight are cleverly harnessed and refracted, creating a gathering space cradled by a light-gathering wall in this winning design for a new museum.

Olson Kundig Architects designed the prizewinning entry in an international design competition for an iconic museum for downtown Bellingham, Washington, that is to take its place alongside city landmarks like Mount Baker Theater and Old City Hall.

Lightcatcher6 architecture
A huge curving wall suggests the nearby beach. It glows in different lights, sometimes like a water-worn yellowish agate found in nearby sands, softening the light like mist or clouds over the seascape, creating a sense of mystery that its architect likens to the local fog and mist.

The colors are soft tan/gray like the bark of local trees and the rocks on nearby beaches. The ceilings are reminiscent of weathered driftwood.

Lightcatcher2 architecture
Silver metal details reflect the Northwest’s strange “oyster light.”

Lightcatcher7 architecture
The design encourages you to meet with neighbors and friends and enjoy aesthetic pleasures in a community gathering place.

“Many museums are off-putting and cold, unfriendly on the outside with stark white walls inside. People often feel inhibited by this cold approach and miss the joy of art because of it.” says the architect.

Lightcatcher3 architecture
At the end of the day, it becomes a glowing beacon from early evening on, as light is bounced up from below.

In a very unique way, little “window displays” in the wall, open to both the interior and the exterior, allow you to preview the art work on display inside, while traversing the courtyard.
Lightcatcher1 architecture
This makes it possible to “shop” the museum’s new installations on your lunch hour, from within the museum as well – just as though you were window-shopping along a city street.

Images: Tim Bies and Benjamin Benschneider
Source: Arch Daily

You can receive our articles for free in your email inbox or subscribe to our RSS feed. Just enter your email below for the email subscription:

| Buy | Print

Leave a Comment