Perkins + Will
The Frye Museum was founded on the generous donation of Charles and Emma Frye in 1952. Committed under its charter to be admission-free, while it is a small museum, it has a history of hitting above its weight. We see this project as an opportunity to build upon that legacy and help the museum continue to hold its own. Frye Museum is adjacent to the St. James Cathedral in the First Hill Neighbourhood, a particularly healthy, vibrant community in Seattle. The concept for the design is to extend the museum into a museum campus, with the museum’s aesthetic running through the veins of a new residential project, creating the architectural expression for the skin of the building as well as animating the surrounding public space.
Architect Peter Busby of Perkins + Will has created a building that embodies the concept of “creative tension.” It consists of two seemingly leaning towers joined by an elegant, thin bridge, suspended 300 feet above the ground. A grand lobby will showcase art pieces for the Frye Art Museum across the street, while the two towers will reflect the Museum’s existing structure, through architectural references and materials. Shifting screens on the building’s facade will create a pattern inspired by the placement of framed artwork in the Salon of the Frye Museum, allowing residents to interact with the building’s exterior animation.