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A Special Feature of DJC.COM
June 6, 2002

Museum of Glass seen from across the Thea Foss Waterway
Photo by Jon Silver

The 75,000-square-foot Museum of Glass, which sits on the Thea Foss Waterway, is Tacoma's newest cultural landmark and architect Arthur Ericksons first major art museum in the United States.

Sheathed in concrete and translucent glass, the building abuts a tilted 90-foot cone wrapped in stainless steel. A series of tiered horizontal terraces ascend from an esplanade along the waterway, providing the museum with outdoor exhibition areas and panoramic views.

interior view of the 5,000-square-foot grand hall
rooftop view of the cone and an installation by Northwest artist Buster Simpson
Photos by Wyn Bielaska

The museum houses 13,000 square feet of gallery space, a 180-seat theater, an experimental studio for educational programs, a hot-shop amphitheater and a museum store and caf. The Chihuly Bridge of Glass is a 500-foot pedestrian bridge with three installations by renowned glass artist and Tacoma native Dale Chihuly. The steel-and-glass bridge spans from the museum rooftop to the core of the downtown cultural district.

The photos shown here include the Museum of Glass seen from across the Thea Foss Waterway (top right), an interior view of the 5,000-square-foot grand hall (middle right), and a rooftop view of the cone and an installation by Northwest artist Buster Simpson (bottom right).

Museum Facts

Location: 1801 Dock St., Tacoma  Cost: $63 million
75,000 square feet   Opening: July 6, 2002

The Project Team
Arthur Erickson, Vancouver, B.C. Nick Milkovich Architects, Vancouver, B.C. Thomas Cook Reed Reinvald Architects, Tacoma
General contractor
Baugh Construction, Seattle

Structural engineer
Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire, Seattle
Mechanical engineer
Notkin Engineering, Seattle

Electrical engineer
Sparling, Seattle
Design Details
Gallery: The 13,000-square-foot space has 15-foot-high ceilings and features international artists who illuminate trends in contemporary art.

Hot shop: The 90-foot-tall, 130-seat amphitheater includes a hot glass studio with furnaces and a cold glass studio.
Cameras in fixed locations will transmit to large screens live video footage of artists blowing glass.

Theater: Multimedia presentations, films, lectures and meetings will be among the activities taking place in the 180-seat theater.

Education studio: This 1,040-square-foot classroom will serve
as a hands-on learning space for activities relating to the exhibit program.

Grand hall: Located at the entrance of the museum, the grand hall will provide direct access to each of the museum's activity areas, including the gift shop and cafe.

Feature Stories

Tacoma vies to become a Northwest hot spot
The new Museum of Glass is expected to be a major contribution to the citys tourism image.
By Terry Stephens, Special to the Journal

What would Mr. Wizard do?
Here's a science project: make glass-blowing a spectator sport -- without burning the spectators.
By Sandra Bonderman, Notkin Engineering

Unique design creates unique challenges
The Museum of Glass may have a roof, but it certainly doesn't act like one.
By Jay Taylor, Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire

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