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A fusion of textures and myriad colors, MoPOP’s exterior conveys all the energy and fluidity of music. Three-thousand panels, made up of 21 thousand individually cut and shaped stainless steel and painted aluminum shingles, encase the outside of the building. Their individual finishes respond to different light conditions and appear to change when viewed from different angles, reminding audiences that music and culture is constantly evolving.

When Frank O. Gehry began designing the museum, he was inspired to create a structure that evoked the rock ‘n’ roll experience. He purchased several electric guitars, sliced them into pieces, and used them as building blocks for an early model design.


Frank O. Gehry and Associates, Santa Monica, California

MoPOP is the first commercial project Gehry has designed in the Pacific Northwest.



LMN Architects, Seattle



  • 140,000 total square feet; footprint, 35,000 square feet
  • Highest point: 85 feet at Sky Church
  • Widest point: 210 feet at West Harrison Street
  • Length: 360 feet at 5th Avenue N



The Museum of Pop Culture (formerly EMP Museum) is located at 325 5th Avenue N at Seattle Center.



Frank O. Gehry is the first architect to use Dassault Systèmes' CATIA in the creation of his highly shaped metal buildings. CATIA allows a sculptural form to be digitized into a 3-D electronic model that can be used for the engineering of building systems and the fabrication of building elements. Invented by Dassault Systèmes for the design of Mirage fighter jets, CATIA is now the primary computer design tool for Boeing and Chrysler.