13. Seattle City Hall

13. Seattle City Hall

City Hall invites Seattle's citizens to participate in and celebrate their community, while creating an efficient workplace for City government.

Location

600 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104, USA

Evolving Wing & the Gravity...

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Where Is It?

Visible through a bank of windows at the 5th Avenue entrance to City Hall. In the northeast corner of the lobby. (To the right, when entering from 5th Avenue.)

About Evolving Wing and the Gravity of Presence

Vancouver, B.C. artist Eric Robertson's 72-foot-long mixed media installation wall installation draws formal inspiration from many Northwest sources.

First is an allusion to "Paddle to Seattle", an event that brings together many Pacific NW tribal groups on the water in traditional canoes. Four life-size aluminum canoe gunnels are mounted on the wall, supported by yellow cedar paddles. Framing each end of the curved wall are yellow cedar paddles measuring more than eleven feet, blades raised vertically in a symbol of honor for the Duwamish and Suquamish nations.

Emerging from the paddle blades and along the top of the wall are multiple wood ribs that transform to aluminum in a reference to Seattle's local aerospace industry. The ribs recall early aircraft wings and the wing flaps of two space shuttles named after the ships that plied local waters. At the center of the artwork are spun copper cones, which resemble both a shuttle's main thrusters and the cedar bark hats worn by paddlers for protection against the elements.

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Where Is It?

Encloses the Bertha Knight Landes Room on the left side of the main lobby (when entering from 5th Avenue), below the Council Chambers.

Learn About return

Seventy-four glass panels form a faceted, sweeping curved glass wall comprising Beliz Brother's artwork return. Each panel, approximately 20 inches high by 36 inches wide, contains an image sandwiched between two layers of tempered glass. The sepia-colored images were created from photographs taken by the artist or from archival collections.

From the Artist

"Each image reveals a fragment of the city's built and natural environment. The images together form a very personal view of a walk through the city now, thirty years ago, fifty or more years ago. The use of color, form and the juxtaposition of shapes evoke an emotional landscape of our city, Seattle."

Get the Story

Where Is It?

Take the elevator on the right side of the lobby to the second floor. They are at the entrance to the City Council offices.

About continuum

Beliz Brother's continuum is a collage of more than 5,000 images. From a distance, the images appear as a rhythmic surface pattern. Close up, the images, ranging from one and a half inches to four and a half inches, read as a people's history of Seattle.

Five back-lit safety glass panels, sandwiching photographic film printed with historic and contemporary images of Seattleites, are framed in stainless steel, forming an eight-foot-tall by ten-foot-wide and eight-inch-deep glass wall that glows luminously blue.

From the Artist

"To create this project I worked with over forty Seattle organizations to collect more than 7,000 images. These organizations included small community groups, large and small historical organizations, local and Federal Archives, and local families. They span the time from the founding of Seattle in the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. Images were collected from every neighborhood, ethnic population, school and occupation from archives, large and small throughout the city and together express the continuum of Seattle's cultural identity."

Blue Glass Passage, 2003

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Where Is It?

To the left of continuum, suspended between the Council Chamber to the south and the office tower to the north.

About Blue Glass Passage

With a total span of 60 feet, the bridge deck of Blue Glass Passage is formed with blue laminated glass panels, and the east wall and guardrails are transparent laminated glass. The guardrail incorporates generous wooden leaning plates and footrests, encouraging conversations and interactions on the walkway.

From the Artist

"The artwork reinforces the placement of City Hall high on the hill and the views it provides of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains beyond. The floor of the bridge is blue glass, conceptually making the connection as a transposed slice of water. This bar of captured light, floating through the lobby, silhouettes and presents the activities and movements of the people within the building to the city passersby below."

Water Weaving Light Cycle 2005

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Where Is It?

Take the elevator back down to the lobby. Walk to the right to the stairwell. Water Weaving Light Cycle is suspended above the stairwell.

About Water Weaving Light Cycle

Nobuho Nagasawa's woven sculpture of optical fiber, Water Weaving Light Cycle pulsates with shifting hues of blue light. During the day, the fiber tapestry has the appearance of a woven glass net. At night, blue light pulses through the fiber, simulating flowing water.

An audio component mixes the sound of lapping waves, recorded at local beaches, with weather-related environmental sounds selected by a computer linked to real-time weather reports by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

From the Artist

"This light and sound sculpture, made of optical fiber and woven in Kyoto by traditional kimono weavers, emulates cascading water and the rhythms of waves breaking on the shores of nearby Puget Sound. The lights and sounds, controlled by computer, link to the website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"The sounds from ceiling speakers are specially-made field recordings of waves and other environmental sounds at Seattle's Golden Gardens Park, Lincoln Park and Carkeek Park. The pulsations of shifting hues of blue light, cascading up and down the length of the fiber tapestry, are synchronized through real-time acoustic analysis with the ebb and flow of waves. Sound/light dynamics reflect both the actual weather changes outside and, figuratively, the flow of human communication inside City Hall — the people walking through, talking; the activated network of information technology; any day's living architecture in action."

Get the Story

Where Is It?

Before going down the stairwell where Water Weaving Light Cycle is suspended, go outside and cross the plaza. illumine is in the vertical glass tower "lantern" on the northwest corner of the City Hall plaza. Or, go down the stairwell, turn left, and walk a half block to see illumine from street level.

About illumine

Beliz Brother's illumine Dichroic glass discs, twenty-four inches in diameter, are strung like beads on eleven steel cables suspended from the ceiling. The discs rotate and twist, catching light and color and reflecting the surrounding environment, bringing images of the city and its people into the City Hall building.

Tour End

Congratulations! You have completed the Pioneer Square Public Art Tour!