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Living Computers

Seattle, WA

60,000 SF


Living Computers Museum + Labs

  • Supports eight or more rotating exhibits

  • Tech store, café and Digital Arts Studio

  • Technology lab areas


Transforming the first floor of a 1930s warehouse into a modern museum about computers creates an opportunity to juxtapose a utilitarian industrial space with new technology. Spotlighting the exhibits is tantamount to the museum’s design. Close collaboration with the project’s owners and exhibit designers led to a fresh, “room within a room” layout that plays on the warehouse’s functional, open-space construction.

For instance, a shipping container serves as a lab for digital arts, and a new mezzanine provides upper-level display space. Access to the mezzanine is achieved through a staircase strategically installed in a former freight elevator shaft. Fitted into the elevator’s preset dimensions, its steel frame and wood treads amplify the space’s raw structure as it angles into the main space with a cantilevered landing. Textured surfaces, such as exposed board-form concrete columns, reclaimed wood, and a subdued color palette, all harmonize to create an ideal setting for the technology-driven exhibits.



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