James Carpenter
Blue Glass Passage
2003

LOCATION
Seattle City Hall
600 5th Avenue

FUNDING SOURCE
Fleets and Facilities 1% for Art


Fully integrated into the building, Blue Glass Passage by James Carpenter of New York hovers as a walkway that spans the lobby, joining the office block to the north with the City Council Chamber to the south. Blue laminated structural glass panels form a 60-foot-long bridge deck supported by a steel beam and suspended from steel cables. The east wall of the passage and the guardrail on the west side are transparent laminated glass. The guardrail incorporates generous wood leaning plates and footrests, encouraging the viewer to stop and contemplate the western view, as well as providing opportunities for conversations and interactions to occur along the walkway.

Carpenter writes: "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."