The City within the City

The City within the City


Nancy Hammer, Hewitt-Isley Architects


Stone, water


Compass Plaza
572-598 106th Avenue Northeast
WA 98004

About the Work

The City within the City. Integrated into the upper plaza's design is a compass rose of green granite, topped with granite columns of varying heights, water flowing gently from the tallest. Sharp-eyed passersby may spot occasional puffs of fog wafting from decorative grates in the plaza's surface On the western edge, star-shaped water scuppers create a "constellation wall". Artist Nancy Hammer, collaborating with Hewitt-Isley Architects, imagined the plaza as an eddy in the stream of pedestrians traveling the corridor. The compass refers to Bellevue's earliest industry, compass manufacturing. The granite columns in their "wedding cake" layout with the tallest in the center suggest the high rises of Bellevue's downtown -- not sprawling, but contained and vital within their compass.