Construction under way on Tacoma Art Museum expansion project

As Tacoma Art Museum presents Shimmering Tree: A Projection by Jennifer Steinkamp, an exhibition featuring a digital tree that shifts and flows with the changing seasons, so, too, is the landscape outside the museum shifting and changing. Construction began on the new Haub Family Galleries on November 4 and demolition is in full swing on the museum’s plaza. While concrete and metal are being torn down, the museum looks forward to the changes ahead and what the plaza’s landscaping will look like next November.

Tacoma Art Museum’s new plaza, designed by Murase Associates, will tie surrounding elements together, creating a stylish, unified, and comfortable location for celebrations, according to Tacoma Art Museum officials. The design, inspired by the design of the new Haub Family Galleries, incorporates hearty, native trees and plantings into a welcoming, green space.

“The museum selected Murase and Associates for their unique design aesthetic that beautifies urban spaces using elegant and durable materials, all in harmony with the architecture and environment,” said Tacoma Art Museum Director Stephanie A. Stebich. “The landscaping will create a green corridor along Pacific Avenue for the community to enjoy in the heart of downtown Tacoma.”

The plantings will include wild roses, Camas bulbs, grasses, white Birch, and a large specimen Zelkova tree. Each of the plants and trees has been selected to add character to the space throughout each season and to create a sense of separation from the busy street. The landscaping will both complement the new copper-colored Richlite building and highlight the outdoor sculptures being commissioned for the museum.

“Murase Associates was honored to be selected by Tacoma Art Museum to work with Olson Kundig Architects on this landmark project,” said Murase Associates Principal Landscape Architect Mark Tilbe. “The new Haub Family Galleries, main entry canopy, and plaza will give the museum an exciting and identifiable presence on Pacific Avenue.”

The landscape architecture will also include a planter-wall to provide seating, an auto-irrigation system, and planting beds under new street trees. The museum received a donation from an anonymous donor of The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation that will cover the purchase of trees for the project.

The trees that currently dot the museum’s property that are harvested during construction will be given to local artists who will then create items that will be sold in the Museum Store.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Tacoma Art Museum’s expansion project, click on the following links: