Iole Alessandrini
Contour
2003

LOCATION
Capitol Hill Branch, Seattle Public Library
425 Harvard Ave. E.

FUNDING SOURCE
Libraries for All Bond 1% for Art


Curtained by climbing vines, the entrance to the library merges art and architecture and creates an unexpected geometric structure. The artwork welcomes visitors and hints at the opportunities for growth and learning within.

Lit from inside by low-energy, long-life fluorescent bulbs, 36 different types of evergreen and deciduous vines intertwine over vertical mesh screens. The effect is a glowing pyramidal entryway to the library.

Alessandrini, a lighting artist, meant for the elements of nature and light to work together to create a unique environment that bridges the gap between the exterior world and the interior of the library. "Light surrounds the building, sandwiched between brick walls and the vertical garden, a green screen of plants that bloom in different times of the year," says Alessandrini. "Together, nature and light augment the perception of a building that is both library and garden, and never looks the same."