Light Box

Graham Baba transforms a Seattle warehouse into a glass studio flooded with light

Art Open West
Graham Baba transforms a Seattle warehouse into a glass studio flooded with light. The artist's work populates the gallery. (Courtesy Benjamin Benschneider)

Lino Tagliapietra Glass Studio
2006 2nd Avenue
Seattle
Tel: 206 420-4867
Architect: Graham Baba Architects

Seattle-based Graham Baba Architects (GBA) has transformed an existing triple-bay warehouse in the city’s Belltown neighborhood into a new studio and gallery for renowned international glass artist Lino Tagliapietra by topping the 1917-era shipping facility with a new 16-foot by 45-foot light cannon.

The gallery is luminous. (Open West/ Courtesy Benjamin Benschneider)

The cavernous 6,100-square-foot, single-story space is marked by two rows of heavy timber columns, with ancillary programs discretely circulated around the ware- house’s perimeter. Visitors enter the project at street level, which sits 30 inches below the structure’s finished floor. Starting at the street edge, a gently sloping ramp located at one extreme of the building carries visitors up into the gallery, bypassing a series of display cases along the way. Within the principal gallery, the aforementioned light cannon is outfitted with a curving soffit that subtly bends clerestory-derived light as it enters the continuous, gray-painted, brick-lined interiors of the space.

Glass art pieces constitute part of the space. (Open West/ Courtesy Benjamin Benschneider)

Adjacent programs are designed to take advantage of this borrowed light and include a glass-clad office and conference room, a pair of restrooms, a kitchenette, and storage areas. Sustainable Europly laminated wood cabinetry and furniture pieces wrap the gallery and office spaces, while art panels and drop-down mobile displays showcasing the artist’s work populate the building’s other areas.

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