The New Nordic Museum Opens in Seattle

Date Posted: 05.04.2018

The new Nordic Museum opens to the public on Saturday, May 5th. The Nordic Museum has been hailed as one of the top museum openings in 2018 by publications including the Los Angeles Times and Artnet News. Founded in 1980, it is the 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.

Designed by Mithun, the new building is organized around a linear ‘fjord’ that weaves together stories of homeland and the Nordic American experience. Bridges crossing the fjord intensify the experience of migration, connecting Nordic and Nordic American exhibits. A vertically-striated zinc skin wraps the building exterior; inside, fjord walls are composed of faceted white planes evoking its glacial origins.

“Our intent is to inspire a certain mythic quality—something that evokes grand landscapes,” says Mithun partner Rich Franko, who oversaw the project. “We wanted to evoke the visceral feelings of the crystalline, faceted geography.”

Additional media coverage of the new museum:

Visit the Nordic Museum website for additional information about the Grand Opening weekend events and gallery exhibits. The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and community festival are free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

Mithun provided architecture, landscape architecture and interior design services. Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) was the exhibit designer. Juhani Pallasmaa Architects collaborated on early design concept discussions.