AKA: SAM #3, Downtown, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - exhibition buildings - museums

Designers: Allied Works Architecture (firm); Bradley Thomas Cloepfil (architect)

Dates: constructed 2003-2007

42 stories

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1300 1st Avenue
Downtown, Seattle , WA 98101-2003

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Portland architect Bradley Cloepfil designed this addition to the Seattle Art Museum #2, which occupied the first 16 floors of the adjoining Washington Mutual Bank Tower #2 in Downtown Seattle, WA. It opened in 2007.

Building History

In 2007, the Seattle Art Museum utilized 12 of 16 floors of its tower. It leased the four remaining stories to the Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu) that occupied the other space of the 42-story tower. SAM owned 300,000 total square feet, but at its opening used only 118,000.

Building Notes

The old Robert Venturi-designed, Post-Modernist wing was joined with this new understated Modernist box to form a continuous sequence of galleries.


The existing Robert Venturi-designed museum gained this 275,000-square-foot-addition. NBBJ, executive architect on the project, designed the Washington Mutual Bank, Tower #2. The art gallery and bank building were to have separate architectural identities. The museum portion of the addition was designed by Bradley Cloepfil (born 1956) of Allied Works Architecture, Portland, OR.

The SAM Design Competitions finalists were Allied Works Architecture of Portland, Polshek Partnership Architects of New York City, and Cooper, Robertson & Partners also of New York.

PCAD id: 6701