Bob Dylan Archive Tulsa Arts District, Oklahoma Building, Architecture United States, News

Bob Dylan Center Tulsa

Archive Building in Oklahoma design by Olson Kundig Architects, USA

Jul 7, 2018

Bob Dylan Center Tulsa Building

Design: Olson Kundig, Seattle

Bob Dylan Center Building at Tulsa Arts District

George Kaiser Family Foundation Names Olson Kundig
Lead Architect And Exhibit Designer For The Bob Dylan Center™,
Set To Open In 2021

Tulsa Arts District Groundbreaking Expected In 2019

Olson Kundig – Conceptual Rendering

Bob Dylan Center Oklahoma building

TULSA, Oklahoma — The George Kaiser Family Foundation has selected Seattle-based Olson Kundig as the lead architect and exhibit designer for The Bob Dylan Center™, the public-facing home of The Bob Dylan Archive® to be located in the Tulsa Arts District.

Olson Kundig won first place in the international design competition following an extensive evaluation process by a committee of advisors, including representatives of the George Kaiser Family Foundation and Bob Dylan’s management team. Tulsa-based Lilly Architects is partnering with Olson Kundig as the architect of record and Plains of Yonder is the partner for audio and multimedia experiences for the project.

“After reviewing proposals from top firms around the world, we agreed that Olson Kundig’s experience, talent and design aesthetic stood out as the best fit for this project,” said Ken Levit, executive director of the George Kaiser Family Foundation. “We’re excited about the vision that Olson Kundig expressed for a world-class cultural center that will do justice to the iconic Bob Dylan collection.”

Olson Kundig – Conceptual Rendering
Bob Dylan Center Tulsa Building

Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA, architecture design principal for Olson Kundig said, “This is a deeply meaningful project for us — not only acting as architectural support to Bob’s transformational legacy and creative, disciplined force, but also in preserving the teaching value of his legacy for future generations.”

Alan Maskin, design principal of exhibits for Olson Kundig said, “Since the 1960s, I have been inspired by the role that change and reinvention have played in the creative life of Bob Dylan. I’m grateful to the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the Dylan Center Advisory Council for selecting our team to reveal and share the treasure of a largely unseen archive to future audiences in perpetuity.”

Olson Kundig – Conceptual Rendering
Bob Dylan Center Tulsa building design USA

The foundation also finalized the location of the future Bob Dylan Center. It will be located on Martin Luther King Blvd. in Tulsa, in a space just southeast of the Woody Guthrie Center, which the foundation established in 2013 after acquiring the archives of the influential folk songwriter. In 2016, Dylan cited the Guthrie center as one of the reasons he chose Tulsa for his own archives.

“I’m glad that my archives, which have been collected all these years, have finally found a home and are to be included with the works of Woody Guthrie and especially alongside all the valuable artifacts from the Native American Nations. To me, it makes a lot of sense and it’s a great honor,” Dylan said.

Bob Dylan. 1962. Photo by John Cohen
Bob Dylan musician

The Center is expected to open in 2021. In the interim, the foundation plans to stage an ongoing series of Dylan-related Tulsa events under the banner of The Bob Dylan Center™. Information on these events will be posted on

The Bob Dylan Center™ is dedicated to the study and appreciation of Bob Dylan and his worldwide cultural significance through six prolific decades of his groundbreaking creative endeavors, from his songwriting and recordings, to live performances, books and films. As the primary public venue for The Bob Dylan Archive®, the Center will curate and exhibit a priceless collection of more than 100,000 items spanning Dylan’s career, including handwritten manuscripts, notebooks and correspondence; films, videos, photographs and artwork; memorabilia and ephemera; personal documents and effects; unreleased studio and concert recordings; musical instruments and many other elements.

Housing permanent, temporary and traveling exhibitions, the Center will be a multivalent venue readily accessible by artists, historians, musicologists, cultural critics and the general public seeking a deeper comprehension of Dylan’s work, the myriad of influences that it embodies, and the offshoots that he has inspired.

The Center will coexist and interact with two related entities – The Bob Dylan Archive®, located at the Helmerich Center for American Research in Tulsa, the archives’ permanent repository accessible only to qualified researchers and scholars; and The Institute for Bob Dylan Studies at the University of Tulsa, an academic program focused on Dylan and related cultural subjects.

Left: Bob Dylan. 1975. Photo Ken Regan, Right: Bob Dylan. 1978. Photo Joel Bernstein
Bob Dylan USA

About Olson Kundig

Now in its sixth decade of practice, Olson Kundig is a full-service design firm whose work includes museums and exhibition design, commercial and mixed-use projects, academic buildings, residences, workplaces, and hospitality design, as well as interior design, landscape architecture and product design services for clients around the globe. The firm is led by five owners — Jim Olson, Tom Kundig, Kirsten R. Murray, Alan Maskin and Kevin M. Kudo-King — who are supported by a staff of over 170 in the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood of downtown Seattle. For more information visit or follow @OlsonKundig on Instagram and Twitter.

About The Bob Dylan Archive®

Composed of more than 100,000 items spanning nearly 60 years of Bob Dylan’s unique artistry, singular career, and worldwide cultural significance, The Bob Dylan Archive® includes decades of never-before-seen handwritten manuscripts, notebooks and correspondence; films, videos, photographs and artwork; memorabilia and ephemera; personal documents and effects; unreleased studio and concert recordings; musical instruments, and many other items.

The collection was acquired in 2016 by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and The University of Tulsa and is housed at the university’s Helmerich Center for American Research at Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa. The Bob Dylan Archive® eventually will be exhibited to the public at the future Bob Dylan Center™ in the city’s flourishing Tulsa Arts District. For more information, visit

About George Kaiser Family Foundation

George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) is a charitable organization based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Type I 509(a)3 supporting organization of the Tulsa Community Foundation, dedicated to providing equal opportunity for young children in our community through investments in early childhood education, community health, social services and civic enhancement. For more information about George Kaiser Family Foundation, visit

Olson Kundig Architects

Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

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Website: Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA