National Nordic Museum Receives 2020 Buildy Award

Date Posted: 01.30.2020

The Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums (MAAM) has recognized the National Nordic Museum with the 2020 Buildy Award for exemplary accomplishments through the planning, construction and operations after opening. The annual award program recognizes the most outstanding recent museum building projects. This year’s awards will be presented on March 6th as part of the 15th Annual Building Museums Symposium in Chicago, IL.

The Buildy Award announcement applauds the unique integration of story, space and programming to advance the National Nordic Museum’s mission and enrich the surrounding community: “Through the planning and construction of a new, purpose-built museum building, the Museum was able to fulfill its expanded mission and meet goals for visitor experience and audience outreach. The new facility has made the Museum a premier destination in the Pacific Northwest and has raised the National Nordic Museum onto the global stage as a leader for the representation and sharing of Nordic arts and culture. The core exhibition expands upon the museum’s classic immigration story to include a broader understanding of Nordic life and culture, tracing Nordic themes of connection to nature, sustainability, social justice, and innovation from the earliest anthropological records through contemporary Nordic society.

“The National Nordic Museum remains the only U.S. museum that collects, preserves and displays material artifacts from each of the five Nordic countries: Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Finland. In its first year of operation, the National Nordic Museum attracted nearly 200,000 visitors; nearly twice that of projected attendance. To date, the National Nordic Museum has recorded visitors from all 50 states and more than 20 countries. With more than 100 programs a year focused on various aspects of Nordic culture, the museum serves as a connector between governments, organizations, and private-sector companies in the United States and the Nordic region, helping to facilitate exchanges of ideas, build connections, and create new economic and policy opportunities.”

Mithun provided integrated architecture, interior design and landscape architecture design services in collaboration with Ralph Appelbaum Associates, exhibit designer, to create an immersive environment centered around Nordic culture, history and experience. The building was constructed by Kirtley Cole.

In addition to the Buildy Award, the National Nordic Museum has also been recognized with honors from the Washington Museum Association, Seattle Business Magazine, American Institute of Architects (AIA) Seattle Chapter, AIA Northwest and Pacific Region and AIA Washington Council.