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September 26, 2014

‘There is Another Sky' in South Lake Union

Image courtesy Vulcan Real Estate [enlarge]

Seattle has a new piece of public art: an intricate glass canopy called “There is Another Sky” that is part of Phase VI of Amazon's headquarters campus.

The piece is by artist Spencer Finch and was unveiled yesterday. It sits above a new public space between two office buildings. Vulcan said the piece has turned the alley into “an enchanting urban respite” with sculptures, water features, landscaping and heated seats. Pedestrians can use the cross-block connection to go between Ninth Avenue North and Westlake Avenue North.

The glass evokes a forest canopy in an urban setting. Below it on ground level are 100 “fireflies” — LED lights scattered in planted areas of the courtyard. The LEDs come on late in the day when natural light fades and blink to suggest firefly flight patterns.

Vulcan said this is the 18th public art piece it has commissioned for South Lake Union.

Amazon Phase VI is part of a three-phase expansion that will eventually total one million square feet when phases VII and VIII are done next year. Phase VI is two buildings with 395,000 square feet.

The site also has public bike racks, a fix-it kiosk and space for the city's first Pronto bike-share station. Eventually there will be 50 Pronto stations with 500 bikes available to rent.

Finch lives in Brooklyn and recently completed a piece for the National September 11th Memorial and Museum in New York City.

ZGF Architects was the architect and GLY Construction was the contractor for Phase VI.

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