SEATTLE, WA – Feb. 24, 2020 – Construction of the 105,000-square-foot Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture completed a few months ago on the University of Washington campus.
The Burke is the oldest public museum in Washington State, with a collection of more than 16 million artifacts and specimens, ranging from totem poles and gemstones to dinosaur fossils. The mission of The Burke Museum is to care for and share natural and cultural collections so all people can learn, be inspired, generate knowledge, feel joy, and heal.
Designed by principal Tom Kundig and built by Skanska, the recently built facility features brand new exhibits, research facilities, and a new approach to discovery and learning about history and heritage in the Pacific Northwest. One key design goal for the building was to create maximum transparency, making every part of the Burke exposed and part of the visitor experience. Installed by Sessler, Inc. the Kebony Character modified wood cladding encompassing the museum provides a natural and inviting exterior that speaks to The Burke Museum’s core values of environmental stewardship and excellence.
Because the Burke’s collection is so wide-ranging and continues to grow, the new building needed to serve as a coherent, effective container that would allow for flexibility over time. In late 2019, the Burke re-opened after being completely renovated and reimagined from the inside out.
While previous iterations of the museum were opaque and disjointed, Olson Kundig, the Seattle-based architectural firm who designed it, sought to make the institution’s new home transparent and united in its facilities. Labs and gallery spaces, for example, are separated by panes of glass to provide visitors with the opportunity to see roughly two-thirds of the items kept on storage shelves as well as “behind-the-scenes” paleontology.
Kebony is a Norwegian company which aims to be the leading wood brand and technology organization. Underpinned by proven timber modification technologies, it produces an enhanced wood of a superior quality that is both environmentally friendly and cost-effective.
The company's headquarters is based in Oslo, with its production facility in Skien, South of Oslo. Currently employing about 60 people, Kebony has subsidiaries in Norway, Denmark and Sweden, sales representatives in Germany, France, UK and the US and a wide distribution network internationally. Shareholders are leading the venture with private equity investors from Germany, France, UK and Norway. The company has received numerous awards for its environmentally friendly technology and innovation, including its naming as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer.
The Kebony® technology permanently transforms sustainable wood species such as pine into Kebony wood with features that are comparable, and in some cases superior, to those of precious tropical hardwoods. This unique environmentally friendly process is also a superior alternative to traditional wood treatment based on impregnation with biocides (wood preservatives). The company’s patent-protected production processes yield products that deliver major improvements in durability and dimensional stability, at the same time as being highly attractive. The Kebony products are suitable for a multitude of applications and designs – encompassing both indoor and outdoor applications.
Kebony’s mission is, through active innovation, quality thinking and understanding of commercial possibilities; give the world beautiful, long lasting and environmentally friendly wood products. The company will show social responsibility and contribute to improvements of the environment in a way that builds a better future.