Mural Amphitheatre, between Center House and Pacific Science Center
Gift of Century 21 Corporation
Artist Paul Horiuchi designed the 60 foot long cycloramic wall Seattle Mural in 1962 as part of the Seattle Center grounds. Seattle Center was originally built to host the World's Fair and has since become a major gathering place in the city. Born in Japan where he learned calligraphy and sumi techniques, Horiuchi moved to Seattle in 1946 where he studied Zen and became involved with the arts community. In the mid-1950s, Horiuchi began working in collage, a technique that would later become his signature.
The Seattle Mural was commissioned for the Mural Amphitheatre, designed by Seattle architect Paul Thiry. Horiuchi's design originally began as a collage of multicolored torn paper before it was enlarged and reworked into 54 brightly colored panels of Venetian glass fabricated in Italy. Using 160 color variations of glass, Horiuchi intended the mural to evoke the natural beauty and colors of the Northwest. The mural acted then and now as a sound-reflecting acoustic backdrop for an amphitheatre stage. The amphitheatre itself, with its terraced lawn, lies in the shadow of the Space Needle and is host to concerts and other open air performances throughout the year.