The Nordic Museum’s Grand Opening is Coming Soon

After a decade’s worth of planning, one of the city’s most beloved cultural institutions has a new HQ

By Gwendolyn Elliott


February 27, 2018

This article appears in print in the March 2018 issue, as part of the Spring Arts PreviewClick here to subscribe.

It’s been nearly ten years since the leaders of Seattle’s Nordic Heritage Museum, long housed in a brick schoolhouse on loan from Seattle Schools, began the effort to locate, finance and construct a permanent home for the city’s—and nation’s—only museum that celebrates all the Nordic cultures (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden).

Prepare to be dazzled—albeit in understated Scandinavian style—when the brand-new 57,000-square-foot, Mithun-designed facility, rebranded simply as The Nordic Museum, officially opens the doors to its new home, about a mile south of its former location, in May.

A showpiece for forward-thinking Nordic design (according to Architectural Digest and the New York Times, it’s one of the most anticipated international museums opening this year), the ground-level corridor resembles a fjord; overhead, second-story walkways act as bridges, stitching together a core collection of permanent, historical exhibits, with temporary installations that explore contemporary Nordic culture.

The Nordic regard for purposeful, multiuse spaces is on view everywhere, from new classrooms, a craft studio and a state-of-the-art auditorium to the practical, quiet and efficient Kone elevators, made by a Finnish company. Grand opening 5/5–5/6.

Grand opening times and prices unannounced at press time. Regular museum hours and prices vary. Nordic Museum, Ballard, 2655 NW Market St., 206.789.5707;


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