Seattle Sound Transit Mt. Baker Station

Submitted by Guy Kemper

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Client: Seattle Sound Transit

Location: Seattle, WA, United States

Completion date: 2009

Artwork budget: $200,000

Project Team

Artist

Guy Kemper

Architect

John Walser

SoundTransit

Public Art Agent

Barbara Luecke

SoundTransit

Industry Resource

Evergreen House

Overview

Rain, Steam and Speed and Seattle Sunrise. There are two artworks used to enliven the station and help with wayfinding. This is the larger piece on the front of the building and is 80′ x 20′. Seattle Sunrise is 16′ x 11′

Goals

This large installation was about creating a place of rapid movement, vibrancy and transition. A powerful design inspired by locomotion, grey drizzle, Northwestern light, and the 19th century J.M.W. Turner masterpiece. The crystal prisms create an ever-changing pattern of rainbows in the station. SoundTransit originally wanted to incorporate art into the railing for the station but decided glass would be a more dynamic presence. The artist provided the art laminated to the specified glazing of the curtain wall. Installation was therefore free under the glazing subcontractor's bid package.

Process

There were several versions of the art, including several locations, that were explored with the design team and client. Also, since the artist was providing a portion of the actual glazing for the building, careful attention was paid to the sizes and details of the installation to insure there were no problems.

Additional Information

An unexpected alteration by the steel erectors prohibited one of the panels from being installed. A chunk of the 1" x 1" crystal prism laminated to the tempered safety glass needed to be carefully cut off in order to fit into the curtain wall frame. Luckily, we were in Seattle and the glazing subcontractor knew another artist literally a block away who could surgically remove it from the panel without shattering the panel.