Studio Blog

2016 Excellence in Concrete Construction Award

April 19, 2017 2016 Excellence in Concrete Construction Award

Coates Design Architects was awarded the 2016 Excellence in Construction Award for their work on the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.  This awards program recognizes professional accomplishments in the outstanding use of Ready Mix Concrete. The Washington Aggregates & Concrete Association, the creator of the award, is dedicated to strengthening the concrete industry and celebrating innovation. Coates Design Architects entered two projects into the ‘Architectural Concrete’ category: The Dorsey Residence and the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA). The Dorsey Residence was a finalist while the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art won the overall category award. Coates Design collaborated with ARW Engineers, PHC Construction, Moncrieff Construction and Hard Rock, Inc. to complete this beloved Bainbridge Island institution.

A physical embodiment of the art held within, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art is a 20,000 square foot building that plays on the juxtaposition between concrete and glass. The main structural, concrete ‘box’ is broken on the south side to allow for a 28’ tall curved glass façade. Concrete walls protect the artwork inside while this curved glass wall communicates a gestural invitation to enter the building. Architect, Matthew Coates, “believes the window has “a significant presence on the corner” and will serve “as a metaphor for our community and the museum itself being open and transparent”’ [1].

Upon arrival, visitors pass under a solid concrete lintel to find a softly day-lit stairway, leading to the main gallery upstairs. Concrete and glass are combined to create maximum contrast between heavy and light structures, adding interest to the visitors’ experience. The formed concrete is intentionally left exposed to provide robust visual texture next to the smooth white walls of the interiors, allowing light to wash the walls, highlighting this unique quality of the cast concrete.

Concrete is dual-purpose as it serves as a sustainable feature as well: Insulated Concrete Form (ICF), is used as thermal mass within the building walls, foundation and floor which supports the energy efficiency of the geothermal heating. ICF within the east wall, adjacent to the state highway, provides acoustical protection. Additionally, ICF was selected to maintain the pace of construction and budget restrictions.


[1] http://theislandgateway.blogspot.com/2010/07/bainbridge-art-museums-new-look-gets.html