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October 31, 2002
Courtesy of Seattle Arts Commission/Pam Beyette
The actions of one person can affect an entire community.
That’s the idea that informs the artwork throughout the Seattle Justice Center, where a team led by artists Pam Beyette, Michael Davis, Norie Sato and Richard Turner created conceptual themes for the building’s art, including design ideas that were developed in concert with architects, landscape architects and other project team members.
The overall goals of the building’s $1 million art program include softening the building’s edges, creating accessible urban spaces, making connections and bridging cultures, developing a familiar sense of place, and exploring clashing viewpoints.
Artwork throughout the building was designed around the metaphor of a ripple effect, which represents how the actions of individuals affect their community.
The metaphor is expressed by a pattern of fragmented arcs that emanate from the base of a 24-foot-tall sculpture in the courts lobby, which is depicted in the illustration above.
The experience of entering the courts begins when people first climb the plaza steps. A feature of the steps is the central railing, a simple design that coordinates with the lobby sculpture and the artist-designed door pulls. The line established by the railing extends across the plaza through the doors and into the lobby in the form of a narrow metal strip inlaid in the pavement.
The focal point of the lobby is the 24-foot sculpture, which comprises two conical forms, one suspended directly above the other so that the point of the hanging cone and that of the standing cone almost touch.
The artwork in the police lobby seeks to address the complexity of police work while expressing the mission of the department: to protect and to serve. Materials for the artwork include stone and bronze.
Artwork throughout the rest of the building includes an installation of several glass sculptures by Seattle artist Anna Skibska that are suspended against the east wall of the 12th-floor jury assembly room.