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April 5, 2019

Interior/Commercial • Washington

Photo by Bruce Damonte
For the Nordic Museum, Western Partitions performed multiple scopes of work, including engineered exterior framing and sheathing.

Nordic Museum

Location: Seattle

Contractor: Western Partitions

Architect: Mithun

Team: Award Metals, Cemco, CertainTeed Gypsum, CWallA, Fry Reglet, Georgia-Pacific, GTS Interior Supply, Hamilton Drywall Products, HILTI, Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel, Scafco Steel Stud Co., The Supply Guy, USG Building Systems

The Nordic Museum is the only cultural center in the United States that celebrates all five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. It is an internationally recognized museum and cultural center.

Founded in 1980 by the Nordic Heritage Society, the museum occupied an old Seattle school building in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood until it relocated to a new building in the heart of Northwest Ballard in May 2018.

Budgeted at just under $54 million, the new three-story, 57,000-square-foot Nordic Museum houses more than 77,000 artifacts. It is designed around the linear Fjord Hall with its multi-faceted walls, which direct visitors to the exhibits while weaving together stories of the Nordic region and the Nordic American experience.

Western Partitions performed multiple scopes of work on the project, including engineered exterior framing, exterior sheathing, weather-and-air barrier, interior framing, gypsum wallboard and tape-and-finish.

One of the first challenges was laying out, framing and hanging the 39-foot-high faceted Fjord Hall walls. Another obstacle was how best to produce a level five finish on the north side of Fjord Hall. With the multidirectional lighting, including the 300-foot-long skylight directly above the hall wall, the 11,000 square feet of level five finish posed a procedural hurdle. After technical consultation with the NWCB staff, WPI tapers produced a top-notch finish that was extremely pleasing to the design team.

For the Nordic Heritage Society, the opening of the Nordic Museum completed years of fundraising and planning. The project was committed from the start to innovation and sustainability and the team achieved LEED Silver certification for the work.

Juror's comment: “Real artistry was required to achieve finishes for a skylight and the angles contained in this museum.”

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