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Wagner Education Center, The Center for Wooden Boats, Seattle, United States

Wednesday 30 Oct 2013

Whatever floats your boat...

Illustration: Stephanie Bower 
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The Center for Wooden Boats gains valuable expansion in Kundig-designed Wagner Education Center 

Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects has designed a $6.6m education facility at The Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle to help the organisation in its mission to preserve the heritage of small marine craft and pass on rich maritime history. The Wagner Education Center will begin construction in the next few months and, once complete, will act as the entranceway to this expanding museum facility.

The firm is well-known for its transformational design projects where seemingly static facades flip up or pivot to open interior spaces up to the elements and this scheme is no different. Movable exterior panels have been incorporated to provide users with optimum control over the lighting within and large windows offer glorious views out over the nearby water.

Kundig explains: “We designed the center to reflect our region’s deep maritime history, provide a functional and efficient environment for the center, and to serve its diverse audiences. The design features wood, glass and steel, and just like on a boat, every inch of space and feature is designed to provide the highest function.”

A youth classroom provides a flexible space which can be converted into a sail loft for evening activities and designs also include a boat shop which can accommodate the museum’s largest vessels. In addition, Kundig has incorporated a number of exhibition and gallery spaces for showcasing the history and heritage of wooden boat building.

Lori O’Tool, Board President of The Center for Wooden Boats (CWB), commented: “CWB’s sailing and boatbuilding classes, programs for kids, historical maritime exhibits and artefacts are overflowing our original floating boathouse and boat shop. Tom Kundig at Olson Kundig Architects knows how to design the kind of human scale building that retains the feel and character that has always made CWB a place where everyone feels welcome.”

Key Facts

Status Concept design
Value 0(m€)
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Olson Kundig Architects

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