How does migration connect community and culture?
The newly constructed Nordic Museum, designed in collaboration with Finland’s Juhani Pallasmaa and Seattle-based architectural firm Mithun, has explored that concept with exhibitions, collections, and event spaces that balance basic tribalism.
Organized around a ‘fjord’ atrium, the two-story angular walls emulate narrow passages that bridge stories from homeland and the Nordic American experience – while the performance space, grand hall, retail shop, and café encourage hometown comingling. The design and glacial structure represent our geographic commonalities, rather than our global differences.
A fluid expression of contemporary living and ancestral narrative make the 57,000-square-foot building especially unique and harmonious. The 18,730 square feet of permanent exhibitions and 3,715 square feet of temporary exhibitions leave a vast amount of space for gatherings, workshops, and music events in six different rental areas. For example, the museum partnered with KEXP for its Nordic Nights lineup, bringing in artists like Iceage from Denmark and Jenny Hval from Norway.
We love how the Global Locality and LifeStory Labeling trends resonate within the mission and design of largest museum in North America to honor the culture, history, and arts of the five Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – and the Sami people, together with the legacy of immigrants in the Pacific Northwest. The Nordic Museum embodies the history of immigrants with grace for the past, present, and future.