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Haddad|Drugan Port of Seattle|Airport Art Program March 2006

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport







Conceptual Vision Guiding Principles for Developing Art Inventory of Art Projects

2 3 6

Background Overview of Contents Process Philosophy

Research and Analysis


Historical Background


Current Site Conditions

Early Airport Designs Development of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport History of the Highline Landscape


Site Elements Contextual Elements Choreography of Topography, Views, and Emotions

Future Site Conditions

Future Site Elements Impacts of the Project Opportunities Constraints Experiencing the Future Airport Entry

Existing Airport Guidelines



Art Guidelines Design Guidelines Landscape Design Guidelines City of SeaTac Design Standards

Project Descriptions



Art Projects Emerald City

16 18 20 22 24

Urban Design Projects


Implementing the Art Plan


28 28 28 29


Transcendent City Linear City Celestial City Terrestrial City

Artist Selection Methods Criteria for Artist Selection Art Project Development Art Project Review


“The integrated freeway, married to its landscape, is an elegant composition in space, a new form of urban sculpture for motion… At their best, these great ribbons of concrete, swirling through the land, give us the excitement of an environmental dance, where man can be in motion in his landscape theater.” – Freeways, by Lawrence Halprin




Overview of Contents



Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Airport) is owned and operated by the Port of Seattle. The Airport is the main portal to the Pacific Northwest region, serving approximately 28.8 million passengers in 2004.

The art plan Summary includes the process, philosophy, and conceptual framework of the plan, as well as an inventory of proposed art projects.

In developing this plan the art planners visited the site at different times of day and in different weather conditions, reviewed Port of Seattle and Sound Transit project plans and documents, read relevant Airport Guidelines, and researched conceptual ideas.

Over the past 30 years the Airport has established one of the country’s most prestigious collections of public art for airports. The program has focused on attaining art reflecting the values and ideas of the time in which it was acquired and produced. Northwest themes expressed through art are also an important factor in giving the Airport its unique identity and connection to the region.

In early 2005 the Port of Seattle’s Art Program hired the artist team of Haddad|Drugan to develop a plan for incorporating artwork into the North Airport Expressway (NAE), the primary entry and exit point of the Airport. The NAE will undergo major modification and relocation through a series of projects over the next several years to relieve traffic congestion, accommodate Sound Transit’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) station and track alignment at the Airport, and address the Airport’s Comprehensive Development Plan. To accomplish these objectives, the Port of Seattle is currently engaged in two roadway projects, the South 160th Street Loop Ramp Project and the North Expressway Relocation Phase 1 Project. The focus of this plan is on Port of Seattle art projects, but it also identifies other art projects that can be incorporated into elements of Sound Transit’s light rail system or the City of SeaTac’s future transit area development. The plan will unify all of these projects as a cohesive, integrated group.

The Research and Analysis section includes historical background, existing and future site conditions, and relevant points of related art and design guidelines. The Project Descriptions section discusses the art projects in detail, providing concepts, goals, and precedents. It also includes urban design recommendations. The section on Implementing the Art Plan proposes methods and criteria for artist selection, and a process for project development and review. The Bibliography is a list of additional resources to guide the work of future artists.

The art planners met and exchanged ideas on a regular basis with key Port of Seattle Art Program and Aviation Facilities & Infrastructure staff including Keith Gillin, Tami Kuiken, and Ralph Wessels. They also met periodically with Sound Transit’s art program manager, Carol Valenta, and occasionally with engineers and landscape architects from Huitt-Zollars and Hough Beck & Baird, the Airport’s roadway projects design team consultants. The Port of Seattle’s Art Oversight Committee and Roadway Projects Visual Review Committee reviewed and commented on the art plan in development. Project partners including Sound Transit, the City of SeaTac, and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) also reviewed and commented on the art plan in development through the Airport Link Urban Design Review Committee. Input from all parties has been assimilated into the recommendations made in this document.

left: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport North Entry

What makes the projects identified in this art plan different from other Airport artworks is that they will be located primarily in exterior sites. Project parameters and themes are aligned with contextual landscape conditions. This extends connections between the Airport’s art collection and the Northwest region, and instills a site-specific approach to creating art. The primary goal of the plan is to create a unified art environment in which all the various projects are tied together through a Conceptual Vision that gives the North Airport Entry a distinct identity. It is intended that future project artists will synthesize information in the plan to suit their own aesthetic approaches. While the art plan should not restrict the development of artworks, it is also important that individual artists work within the Conceptual Vision so that all the pieces contribute to a cohesive gestalt that distinguishes the Airport’s North Entry and its related artworks.

above right: historic photograph of Airport Airfield, Terminal, and Mount Rainier SUMMARY 


Conceptual Vision Continuous Cities. Two concepts define the art plan. The first, one of Continuous Cities, implies that all of the art projects are linked into a continuous terrain, or are possibly all the same place viewed through different perspectives. The place they are interpreting is an amalgam of the Airport, the Pacific Northwest, the World. The desired result is that experiencing one artwork sheds new meaning on the others, in the manner of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities:


At times all I need is a brief glimpse, an opening in the midst of an incongruous landscape, a glint of lights in the fog, the dialogue of two passersby meeting in the crowd, and I think that, setting out from there, I will put together, piece by piece, the perfect city, made of fragments mixed with the rest, of instants separated by intervals, of signals one sends out, not knowing who receives them. If I tell you that the city toward which my journey tends is discontinuous in space and time, now scattered, now more condensed, you must not believe the search for it can stop. Perhaps while we speak, it is rising...

To manifest this concept, each of the art projects has been given a moniker that identifies it as a type of “city.” The term “city” is being used here not in reference to actual cities of the area (such as the City of SeaTac), but in association with utopian theory (as in Calvino’s Invisible Cities and Colin Rowe’s Collage City).

Transformation. The second conceptual thread that ties the projects together is the process of Transformation, occurring along axes on which the Continuous Cities are placed, and also within the individual projects. Transformation expresses personal growth through travel, dreams and new beginnings associated with the frontier quality of the American West, and the continuous reinvention of local technology and landscape that characterizes the Airport as well as the region. Transformation is also implicit in the systems and atmospheric effects that run through the sites.

Guiding Principles for Developing Art On a philosophical level, Transformation is an emotive response that strives to reconcile experiences of the empirically real and the transcendentally ideal. In the way personal revelations can occur upon perception of a new and foreign land, the physicality of art’s forms and materials (the real) strives to enact a sublime effect (the ideal) on its viewers. This links the art meaning of the Continuous Cities with the actual places where they are sited, giving new meaning to the contextual landscape. The art projects in the plan transform along a series of attributes inherent to the site that will be analyzed in further detail in the Research and Analyis section of this document, including: • • • •

view sequences method of transport/speed of movement topography emotional fluctuations

Transformation also occurs across an intellectual framework applied to the site, comprised of two cross-axes that connect major points of entry and exit: • a north-south axis that shifts from an emphasis on space at the 160th Street threshold, to time at the Airport Terminal • an east-west zxis that shifts from a substantive and grounded physical place at the SeaTac City Center, to a light and abstract imaginary place at the Airport Terminal The framework also includes zones characterized by the four natural elements and the atmospheric conditions most closely allied with them. These zones include: water/rain, air/wind, fire/light, and earth/plants.

Applying the Conceptual Vision. The various Transformations and Continuous Cities weave together to form a physical-intellectual construct that layers new meaning onto the North Airport Entry, and defines goals and themes for the individual art projects. In addition to occurring with specific emphases and scales within each project, the concepts of Transformation and Continuous Cities also occur across the Entry site as a whole, insofar as the themes that describe each of the Continuous Cities define poles of difference between which Transformation occurs. The dialogues between the projects paradoxically divide and unify the site simultaneously.

The following guidelines were derived from the art planners’ observations of the site and project parameters, interpretations of existing Airport guidelines, and conversations with stakeholders:

1. Reflect the Pacific Northwest environment through materials, forms, and processes. 2. Reflect cultural interpretations of the Pacific Northwest through local myths, histories, and technologies that interpret or process regional natural elements. 3. Tie art into natural processes and climatic events, to create a distinctly “exterior” set of art projects for the Airport. 4. Support light rail station’s theme of “flight.” 5. Reflect or integrate elements of sustainability. The scale of and degree to which the Conceptual 6. Use plants to mitigate the expanses of concrete Vision of the art plan is perceived will emerge from that will pervade the site. individual experiences of transport through the site, 7. Use art to build on the choreography of views, frequency of viewing the art projects, emotional state topography and emotional experiences inherent of mind, and personal associations. to moving through the site. 8. Treat views along transportation corridors as cinematic successions of visual events a. to provide a sense of excitement about both arriving at the Airport and entering the Pacific Northwest b. to provide visual interest for people driving around the loop road while waiting to pick up passengers. 9. Create memorable experiences for both frequent and infrequent users. 10. Create gateways marking points of entry and exit. 11. Define art projects of scales suitable to their environments a. large scale for vehicular corridors b. small-medium scale for pedestrian corridors. 12. Integrate art into functional structures, while keeping the art distinct enough from those structures so that it is clearly expressive as art. 13. Use art to assist in wayfinding. 14. Tie projects into goals of relevant art, design, and landscape guidelines. 15. As appropriate and where possible, incorporate “green” or LEEDS-certified sustainable materials and features into artwork. 16. Mitigate lifecycle and operational/maintenance costs in the selection and creation of artwork. SUMMARY 



Inventory of Art Projects

Art Project Name


Type of Artwork

Funding Agency


Potential Elements

“Emerald City”

160th Loop Ramp underpass and surrounding landscape area


Port of Seattle

$800,000 includes design fee, fabrication, and installation

• •

WSDOT property north of and including 160th Street Underpass

• •

“Transcendent City”

Sound Tranisit Skybridge, connecting Station and International Boulevard


Sound Transit & Port of Seattle

Port of Seattle Skybridge and Walkway through Garage, connecting Station and Airport Terminal

“Linear City”

At-Grade and Aerial Light Rail Alignment in the Median of the NAE roadway, from 160th Street to Light Rail Station

Sound Transit Skybridge: $200,000 includes design fee, fabrication, and installation Port of Seattle Skybridge and Walkway through Garage: to be determined

Unifying Element

Sound Transit

sculpture, earthwork, lighting, and time/temp sign at entry enhancements to loop road/detention pond functional elements (walls, columns, fences, earthwork, plantings, pond cover) trash screens, paint, and lighting on existing surfaces of the 160th Street underpass design team collaboration on planting plan for entire roadway corridor

architecturally-integrated elements such as sculptural portals and glazing treatments • lighting, screens, multi-media • sound elements • interactive pieces •

$200,000 includes design fee, fabrication, and installation; construction credits for artistdesigned functional elements may be applied to art budget; additional funding from the Port of Seattle is possible

• • • •

sculptural OCS pole tops shape, form, and surface treatment of glare screens and security fences surface treatments to OCS poles, aerial guideway columns, and trackbed paving “special event” when at-grade alignment lifts to an aerial alignment

Notes The art vision will influence items paid for through engineering, landscape, and utility budgets, as well as the art budget. Some project elements may be in the base construction budget. The art budget will cover enhancements to functional pieces and stand-alone art pieces. Art will not distract drivers from variable message signs or other roadway wayfinding and information signs. Art for the bridge between the station and airport garage should be transportable, so it can eventually be moved from the temporary bridge to permanent bridge.

Artist will propose concepts, study feasibility, and provide budgets for various elements, some of which will be enhancements to functional pieces funded through the base construction budget. All art, especially in the area where the alignment shifts from at-grade to aerial, must be able to accommodate future relocation of southbound lanes of the Airport Expressway, and Air Cargo Road.

“Celestial City”

Light Rail Station

Focal Point

Sound Transit

$150,000 includes design fee, fabrication, and installation

• sculpture Artist to collaborate with design team to create an art• windscreens, elevator glazing, paving, and other and-architecture vision that defines the station, and to determine locations for discrete artwork. architecturally-integrated elements • suspended pieces • interactive pieces

“Terrestrial City”

Base of Skybridge on International Boulevard


Sound Transit

to be determined

• paving • lighting • sculpture • water feature • interactive pieces


Architectural paving and landscaping enhancements can be considered as part of this project.



Early Airport Designs

Development of Sea-Tac Airport

Aeronautical engineering experienced enormous development in the 1920s, capturing public attention and prompting a need for ground facilities to serve the burgeoning airline industry. Between 1928 and 1929 the number of American airports nearly doubled.

A 1700’-long airstrip was cleared and graded near Bow Lake in late 1940 by Dean Spencer and George Wolff, who left the area to fly for the military in World War II immediately after completing the airstrip. With the growth of Boeing and as a result of military response to the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the federal government made a plea for a new regional airport. The Port of Seattle responded to the request and opened Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at the site of the Bow Lake airstrip in 1944. It had a 6100’-long runway.

A sense of hope and optimism was associated with early air travel, and this was reflected in the site plans of early airports. Entry roadways were often laid out in geometric and axial compositions, usually framed with formal plantings that reinforced the utopian quality of the designs. Those early airports provided large green public open spaces, in a sense serving some functions of public parks. An Industrial/Art Deco architectural style characterized the first terminal buildings. To attract public interest in air travel, many included elements that stretched the limits of contemporary structural engineering, in much the same way that aeronautical engineering was stretching the limits of transportation. Exploration of innovative architectural motifs continues to characterize new airport buildings, whereas inventive site design is now usually sacrificed to spatial constraints of expansion.

above: Lehigh Airports Competition Entry, 1929 top right: original “grand boulevard” entry into Sea-Tac Airport bottom right: Sea-Tac Airport Terminal and entry plantings at opening in 1949

The Terminal and Administrative Offices opened in 1949. Like the Airport’s new Central Terminal, the original Terminal building had a wall of glass on the west side, and windows all around. It was distinguished with elegant fluted columns inside and a large exterior clock on a tower facing the airfield.

a second runway was built and the Terminal was encased inside a new structure that featured an upper driveway for departures and a lower driveway for baggage collection and arrivals. A new multi-deck Parking Garage was built, with Skybridges connecting it to the Main Terminal. An internal highway system (the Airport Expressway) and new feeder roads linked the Terminal and Garage to Interstate-5. Further expansion began in the 1990s, continuing on to projects currently underway. The Garage was expanded to three times its original size in the early 1990s, with Garage expansion to the north planned for the near future. Concourse A and Airport Administrative Offices were renovated in the early 2000s, a new Central Terminal was completed in Spring 2005, and a third runway is in construction.

It is notable that the original entry to the Terminal was a formal arrangement of roads and plants. A grand boulevard from the east that formed an axis terminating at a circular drive in front of the building. A wide median of grass bisected the boulevard, which was framed by rows of evergreen trees and parking lots on both sides. An island of grass and flowers encircled by the entry drive created a memorable setting for the Terminal. The runway was lengthened in 1956, and Terminal improvements were made for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. Between 1949 and 1971 the A-D and N-S Concourses were added, in part through an expansion program that began in 1967. As part of this program RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS 


History of the Highline Landscape

Site Elements

Contextual Elements

The site of the Airport is on a ridge of glacial deposits called the “Highline.” It was once old-growth forest, and includes the spring-fed Angle and Bow Lakes. Native American settlements were in lowlands to the east and west of the ridge, but the land around the lakes was used for fishing and hunting. Indigenous people also cultivated that part of forest to attract deer and for their own harvest, selectively clearing the land with fire and fostering the growth of native berries. Historian David Buerge says, “This area was not a wilderness, but rather a garden that bore the imprint of human activity for thousands of years.”

The North Airport Expressway is accessed from State Highway 518. The off-ramp from 518 climbs uphill through a greenbelt, and then passes beneath an overpass at 160th Street, which acts as an unofficial gateway into the Airport. Non-descript concrete retaining walls, planted embankments, and chainlink trash screens on the upper road characterize the overpass. Port of Seattle property and the NAE begin on its south side.

Air Cargo Road is directly west of the NAE. Airport facilities include terminals, maintenance hangars, fuel racks, cargo storage, and airfield west of Air Cargo Road. Airport support businesses including postal and package services are also west of Air Cargo Road. Support businesses including parking, car rental, hotels and restaurants are east of the NAE, and accessed from International Boulevard. Washington Memorial Park, a large cemetery founded in 1930, is also east of the NAE.

The first white settlers moved to the area in 1873, and it slowly grew into the “Sunnydale” community, an agricultural outpost of Seattle. The forest was cleared to make way for family farms. In the 1890s hops were grown on a homestead in the location of the current north end of the Airport, and a blacksmith shop was opened near there at the turn of the century. By the early twentieth century Japanese immigrants comprised most of the farmers on the Highline. Development of the Highline area has always occurred around the advent of new transportation corridors, the most significant of which has been SeaTac Airport. Military Road (1860) was the first major north-south road, connecting Forts Steilacoom and Bellingham. Kelly Road (1872) followed, linking the farming communities of Sunnydale and South Park. In 1922 Kelly Road was rededicated as Des Moines Memorial Drive, with elms planted on its shoulders to memorialize World War I dead. The Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 99) was built in 1928 to connect Seattle with Tacoma. Finally, Interstate 5 was built in the 1960s. Population growth accompanied all of these road constructions. Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail Line will become the next major north-south transportation corridor to run through and bring growth to the area. The City of SeaTac was incorporated in 1990. SeaTac comprises 10.5 square miles, including and wrapping around the Airport. It also includes residential neighborhoods and a hospitality strip on Highway 99 that primarily serves the Airport. SeaTac renamed this strip of highway “International Boulevard.”  NORTH AIRPORT ENTRY ART PLAN

historic picture of an old-growth tree in the present location of Sea-Tac Airport

An electronic sign with a changing display of current Airport information is mounted to the north side of the overpass, and another electronic sign displaying the current time and temperature is located in the median just south of the 160th Street overpass. That sign has become a landmark, signifying to motorists that they have entered the Airport. A median with grass, cobra lights, and small trees in some areas divides northbound and southbound traffic along most of the NAE. Embankments at the edges of the road are planted with a disparate mix of medium-sized deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs, with a groundcover of grass. The NAE ends at the Terminal, where it forks off to various exits leading to Arrival and Departure Drives and the Parking Garage.

Beyond these immediate surroundings lies the Puget Sound Region, centered on communities situated along Interstate-5 stretching from Tacoma to Everett, with Seattle in the middle. Further out are the Cascade and Olympic Mountain Ranges, the “Evergreen State” of Washington, and the Pacific Northwest. Because the Airport is a primary gateway into all of these points, some of which are visible from the NAE, they are all part of its contextual landscape. Similarly, the national and international locales connected through flights into and out of the Airport can also be considered part of its “psychological” contextual landscape. Frequently the previous landscape that people traveling on the Airport Expressway have experienced was in a faraway place.

The Garage is colored “Columbia Buff,” a warmer gray than standard concrete. It is six stories high, with a façade composed of horizontal bands of rounded spandrels at each floor. The west side of the Garage has large monolithic air vents. The east side is characterized by large cylindrical spiraling entry and exit ramps. Adjacent to the Garage at the south end are concrete cooling towers with sculptural cylindrical forms. Water rushing down inside of them is visible from cars passing by on the NAE. This is, and will remain, the south “end” of the NAE loop.

cooling towers south of parking garage, marking the south end of the loop drive

Entry Sequence

exit from state route 518

approaching underpasses

passing through underpass

ascent to 160 Street underpass and Airport entry

passing through 160th Street underpass

ascent on NAE, approaching Air Traffic Control Tower

descent on NAE

view of aiplanes, approaching Aiport Terminal

descent to Terminal, with distant of view of Mount Rainier




Choreography of Topography, Views, and Emotions

Future Site Elements

The NAE from 160th Street to the Airport Terminal is approximately 1 mile long. Shifts along both its horizontal and vertical alignments are coupled with a sequence of views that is made cinematic by the motion of the vehicle that takes one through the site. The views are also telescopic in the way they close-in when entering the Airport, and expand wider when leaving. Changes in elevation and views are linked with a choreography of emotions also experienced.

The descent of the road is coupled with a closing off of views as cars enter into either the Garage or the “gorge” between the Garage and Terminal. The drop in elevation and limited views both heighten the feelings of anxiety.

The NAE will change significantly with the modifications associated with current and future projects. The following lists summarize elements of Port of Seattle and Sound Transit projects that will change the north entry into the Airport.

Once at the Terminal emotional good-byes and greetings can occur, and thoughts begin to be occupied by schedules and times.

Port of Seattle project elements currently being designed:

Entering the Airport. The most common way of arriving at the Airport is by driving west on Highway 518. The steady ascent up 518 from Interstate-5 culminates just after passage through the 160th Street underpass, at the high point where the Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower is sited. This rise in the road enhances a mood of excitement felt in people about to embark on a trip, or for those going to meet family and friends.

Looping around Terminal. Looping around the Parking Garage to make multiple passes by the Arrival Deck of the Terminal is often wrought with combined feelings of tedium, distress caused by the rapid pace and limited parking enforced by Airport Police, and worry about not connecting with a loved one or friend.

As the road ascends there is a shifting set of views. The expansive prospect from Interstate-5 first narrows into the smaller view corridor of Highway 518. The exit ramp from 518 passes through a series of underpasses, ending at 160th Street. Each underpass acts as a portal that further focuses the view toward the Airport. Just beyond the 160th overpass a closeup central view of the ATC Tower is directly in front of entering cars. At the ATC Tower high point the NAE bends to the left (due south) and begins a gentle descent toward the Airport Terminal. This entry is accompanied by a view of airplanes to the right and a view of Mount Rainier to the left. About two-thirds of the way to the Terminal the road bends left again and descends more sharply. Here the view to Mount Rainier is directly in front of auto passengers, but their attention is diverted by signs leading cars in different directions to plane arrivals and departures and long- and shortterm parking. This portion of the drive, rife with decision points, can be accompanied by feelings of confusion and anxiety about where one is going, and getting to the Terminal in time to catch a flight or pick someone up.

Leaving the Airport. Driving north out of the Airport Terminal, the Expressway passes the Parking Garage on the left. New native plantings between the road and Garage will eventually grow to screen the view of the Garage. The tops of cedar trees on a lower ground plane to the right of the road currently screen views to International Boulevard. As the Expressway passes by the northeast corner of the Garage, views open to airplanes on the left and International Boulevard on the right. A person who has just arrived by airplane starts to get spatially oriented with the Pacific Northwest. The road soon begins a long and even ascent that enhances a feeling of anticipation about going home or beginning a visit. At the high point of the NAE, near the ATC Tower, the road bends to the right and the view opens to the 160th Street overpass, with the first distant views to the regional landscape behind it. As one passes beneath the overpass a panoramic view of the Cascade Mountains unfolds, accompanied by feelings of hope and excitement about arriving in the Pacific Northwest. Beyond the overpass the road descends. Here travelers experience the sense of relaxation and relief associated with successfully navigating their travel experience, and arriving home or at a new place.

• loop ramp south of 160th Street that will route traffic back to the terminal • detention pond, cover, and fencing on the south side of the 160th Street loop ramp • airfield access tunnel crossing under the NAE, north of 170th Street • realignment of north-bound lanes between the parking garage and airfield access tunnel • realignment of 170th Street, including a new off-ramp and NAE underpass • relocation of access roads at the parking garage • columns, retaining walls, mechanicallystabilized earth (MSE) walls, guardrails, barriers, and railings at various locations • embankments and plantings on shoulders of the NAE • signage along the NAE • skybridge connecting light rail station to parking garage • pedestrian walkways through the parking garage connecting light rail station to terminal

Sound Transit projects elements currently being designed: • elevated light rail station at the northeast corner of the airport parking garage • at-grade light rail track alignment in the median of the NAE starting north of 160th Street and continuing to170th Street • aerial light rail track alignment alongside northbound lanes of the NAE between 170th Street and the light rail station • columns, overhead contact system (OCS) poles, and railings associated with track alignment and station • skybridge over northbound lanes of the NAE and International Boulevard, connecting light rail station to downtown SeaTac • stairs connecting skybridge to a paved area on the east side of International Boulevard Port of Seattle project elements in the Comprehensive Development Plan: • increased number of NAE lanes in both directions • pedestrian bridge crossing over the NAE near the ATC Tower • expansion of north end of the existing parking garage The art plan also considers WSDOT property at and just north of the existing 160th Street overpass, including surfaces of the columns and retaining walls, trash screens on the upper road, and landscape areas in the median and at the shoulders. No construction is planned for these elements, but they are major visual elements associated with entering the Airport.

view of Cascade Mountains, leaving the Airport RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS 

Impacts of the Project



The major improvement to the North Airport Entry as a result of the loop ramp and light rail construction is that traffic congestion will be reduced. Of further benefit is the ease of access to light rail transit that Airport travelers and employees and nearby residents will enjoy.

Design Team Collaborations. Numerous opportunities exist for integrating art into functional aspects of the road and light rail construction. There are opportunities for artists to collaborate with engineers and designers to determine the surfaces, and in many cases forms, of walls, columns, bridges, paving, fences, posts, railings, and other elements. These design team collaborations are described in more detail in the Art Project Descriptions section.

The exterior environment of the Airport has unique constraints defined by the Federal Aviation Administration, related to air safety. Artists will be required to research the opportunities and constraints associated with their particular projects.

With those benefits come several disadvantages. The major negative impacts are that the expanse of concrete stretching across the NAE will widen, engulfing what is currently a landscaped median in the center of the road. Relocating northbound lanes further east also causes the loss of a green buffer dividing International Boulevard from the Airport, in some locations replacing it with a large concrete retaining wall.

existing landscape at 160th Street overpass

Role of Landscape. Art that includes or ties into plantings can reinforce the connection of the Airport with its contextual landscape. Although (and because) areas for plants are limited, artists can work with design teams to integrate plants into the site in creative ways. For instance, a “hanging garden” approach could be applied to many of the wall surfaces, creating a more vertical planting configuration rather than conventional horizontal applications. In addition, there are several distinct ground surfaces where exciting new plantings can be installed:

plaster model for steps and tiles, Isamu Noguchi

• around and within the 160th Street loop ramp • over the 25’-wide utility corridor west of the NAE • along the east side of the NAE • in bio-swales on the shoulders of the NAE • in leftover spaces around the on-ramp and offramp at 170th Street

Wall of Cascades, Pascal Cribier, Lionel Guibert, Patrick Blanc


The following constraints apply to the road and light rail projects in general, including its art elements:

Kooriyama City (photograph), Toshio Shibata

• concrete surface treatments must not inhibit seismic hazard inspections • art and design elements must not distract from wayfinding and safe driving, especially at decision points • exterior lighting must not compromise aviation requirements • plantings must not attract wildlife, especially birds: • avoid combinations of diverse plants and open standing water • avoid edible-looking plants • tall conifers that attract bald eagles should not be used near runways • aesthetic water features should not include standing water • there is a 30’ clear zone around the WSDOT right-of-way • there is a 25’ utility corridor along the west side of the NAE, where large plants should be avoided • the 160th Street Loop Ramp Project is on a fast-track schedule • future improvements will alter many areas

Experiencing the Future Airport Entry Types of Users. People who will pass through the Airport’s North Entry, and experience art there, include: • frequent and infrequent travelers • people who drop off or pick up family and friends • Airport and support industry employees • people who live or work near the Airport • commuters who drive or ride the train Art integrated into the site should offer something to all types of people who travel through it. For infrequent users and people arriving in the Pacific Northwest for the first time it should be welcoming and exude a sense of optimism and excitement. For frequent users the art should continue to be interesting and inspiring upon multiple viewings. One way to achieve this is by including elements that transform from day to night, from season to season, through shifts in weather, and through viewer interaction. Types of Vehicles. In almost all cases, people who experience the art will be in motion, traveling through the site. It is important for artists to consider how different modes of transportation will affect perception of the art and surrounding landscape.

Perception of Landscape through Different Modes of Transportation Vehicle Type

Perception of Motion/Speed

Landscape Role


Passengers and Automobile, Taxi, Limousine, drivers projected into Van, Bus

Engagement with landscape

Perspective views

Good sense of motion and speed

Driver as part spectator, part actor, part director


Passengers as spectators

Detachment from landscape

Panoramic distant views and closeup blurry views

Excellent sense of motion and speed

Fleeting images compress into cinematic sequences


Pedestrians projected into mise-en-scene

Engagement with landscape

Perspective views

Fair sense of motion and speed

Pedestrian as part spectator, part actor, part director


Passengers as spectators

Detachment from landscape

Aerial distant views

Poor sense of motion and speed, until landing

Landing: shift from aerial to oblique to panoramic views

User Role


User Experience


Art and Design Guidelines Applicable to this Plan Design Guidelines for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (1999). The Design Vision is to “create a memorable sense of place,” with these key aspects:

Port of Seattle Art Program. The mission of the Port of Seattle’s Art Program is to “obtain high quality contemporary art that engages and reflects the Northwest culture and environment as experienced by diverse cultures.” Art Guidelines for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (1999). The Art Guidelines state that art should be located in “high visibility” places. They say that “exterior facilities and grounds represent significant areas for artwork inclusion and lend themselves well to the exploration of the Northwest Natural Environment.” In addition to simple “placement” of artwork, the Guidelines envision the “integration” of art into landscape architecture, architecture, and wayfinding systems, also noting that artwork installed along with other infrastructure work can result in cost savings. At this time there is only one artwork in the Airport collection at an exterior site: Robert Maki’s Canary II, which was recently relocated from the Central Plaza to a grassy planted area on the east side of Terminal A. However, formliners designed by artist Carolyn Braaksma will be used to create a large relief mural on a concrete embankment wall that is part of the Third Runway Project currently in construction. A stone and water feature designed by landscape architect and artist Robert Murase is well-integrated with the architecture and landscape on the south end of the erminal Drive. It is not part of the art collection, but has a strong visual presence that activates the area. Pooled Funds Art Master Plan (2003). There are several exterior art projects identified in the Pooled Funds Art Master Plan (by artist Norie Sato) that could be conceived as extending the entry sequence. These include projects on the large concrete vent shafts on the west side of the Parking Garage, outside the Terminal alongside the Arrival annd Departure Drives, and at entrances into the Skybridges from the Parking Garage-side.


• use of Progressive Modern Architecture to continue the existing architecture • connection to the Northwest natural environment through landscaping, sustainable design, responsiveness to natural light and views, and metaphoric references • reflection of the Northwest cultural environment through prominent integration of artwork and cultural elements

There is a specific guideline about vehicular Airport entries: The arrival experience for vehicular customers should begin with large “spectacular” landmark signage at the current north entrance and at the future south entrance to truly identify that one has arrived, and to make an impressionable statement that Sea-Tac is a world leading airport. This statement should be a dynamic orchestration of signage, art, lighting and landscaping. It should be a visual statement of a gateway, reflecting the excitement of entering the first stage of a trip.

top: Canary II, Robert Maki bottom: stone water feature, Robert Murase right: exterior and interior views of the Central Terminal in 1949

The Design Guidelines include some strategies that are directly applicable to art and landscaping projects for the North Airport Entry: • include prominent integration of artwork at primary spaces • integrate artwork and improved lighting at skybridges • use gateways, focal points, or other transitional elements to indicate arrivals and clarify circulation systems and wayfinding • optimize views • integrate functional requirements with desired aesthetic intent • use native plants • maintain natural water flows and harvest site flows • avoid attracting wildlife • include landscaping along parking structures

Lighting guidelines state that lights should be used to reinforce wayfinding, visual clarity, perception of place, and connection to and enhancement of the landscape. Exterior lighting sources recommended for the Airport include fluorescent, metal halide, and QL induction. They exclude high-pressure sodium, mercury vapor, and incandescent. Tungsten halogen is possible for artwork. Recommended exterior lighting fixtures include cast aluminum or heavy gauge steel with painted surfaces and fully-gasketed lenses.

Landscape Design Guidelines for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (2000). The principal theme of the Landscape Guidelines is to evoke aspects of a Pacific Northwest Evergreen Forest, including: immense vertical scale, richly textured floor, glimpses and vistas, and drizzle and mists. Supporting themes include allusions to the Natural Environment and Cultural Environment. The Landscape Guidelines discuss ways to tie special features into the emotional choreography of the highway experience. To build on anticipation, they suggest, “the long stretches of highway leading to the airport are suitable locations for presenting scenery, art, or large scale interpretive elements that frame views...”

The Landscape Guidelines include some strategies that are directly applicable to art and landscaping projects for the North Airport Entry: • use evergreen Puget Sound forest plantings • reuse roadway storm water runoff • create a “Cascade Portal” for the 160th Street Overpass—“a misty, sculptural waterfall embracing the overpass structure and framing the roadway” • where the Air Traffic Control Tower is on axis with the road, reinforce its dramatic vertical expression with “large sculptural shapes, highlighted with color and accent lighting” • treat the future bridge from the rapid transit station to International Boulevard as a dramatic gateway framing the city center core • make new and existing walls between the NAE and International Boulevard into lush planted green walls • make new walls between the NAE and International Boulevard a uniform height, to screen cars from International Boulevard • install “hanging gardens” (ferns, vines, and cascading shrubs) on the parking structure and skybridges • parking garage interiors should be treated with lighting, colors, signs, and art • provide clues of prevailing wind direction

City of SeaTac Design Standards for High Capacity Transit Facilities (1999). The City’s Standards for Station Design include the following relevant points: • station should be consistent with a locally determined design theme • roofline should have an architectural focal point or variation • principal ground level exterior entry points should include a minimum of 200 square feet of decorative paving

top: existing plantings in median and on shoulder of NAE bottom: layered embankments as landscape opportunity right: International Boulevard


PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS “Emerald offers us rarity and sparkle… A green city provides an ideal reflection of nature; a city not in opposition to the forest, but a humanized version of it. It is the city as a dazzling garden, a dream of nature perfected.” The Emerald City by Daniel Willis


EMERALD CITY Site: • Port of Seattle property including the 160th Loop Ramp underpass and surrounding landscape • WSDOT property north of and including the existing 160th Street underpass

Budget: • $800,000, includes design fee, fabrication, and installation

Potential Art Elements: sculpture lights time/temperature display enhancements to walls, columns, fences, detention pond cover, and overpass trash screens • earthwork sculpting and grading • plants • Airport entry/welcome sign • • • •


Goals: • Use large-scale art that engages vehicle and rail drivers and passengers, but does not distract drivers from viewing signage. • Create art effects that are activated by weather and climate events, especially rain, to convey the concept of Transformation. • Include lighting, for transformations of art from day to night. • Explore replacing the existing time/ temperature sign with an artist-designed entry/welcome sign and/or clock, possibly that displays the time in several different time zones. This feature could also include weather conditions such as temperature, wind direction and speed, and barometric pressure, conveying the concept of Transformation in a more literal manner. • Tie into contextual spatial relationships: layering of roadways, circular loop, ascents and descents in elevation, views to mountains and ATC Tower. • Collaborate with engineers and landscape architects to integrate functional elements of the Loop Ramp area into a cohesive spatial composition that creates a memorable place. Retaining walls and sculptural grading that relate to the geometry of the loop road can enhance the spatial quality of the environment, with the circular form of the loop road providing a “frame” for this composition. The trash screens received by Sound Transit and WSDOT can become a part of the overall art concept.

top left: Lehigh Airports Competition Entry, 1929 top right: Greening of Manhattan, by James Wines bottom left: Poster for Seattle Worlds’ Fair, 1962 bottom right: Pacific Northwest forest

Concepts: • Treat some project elements (such as walls and columns) as functional artworks. • Tie into ecological aspects of the Pacific Northwest, and convey a message of environmental stewardship. (For instance, storm water captured from the Loop Ramp may be projected through sculptural channels into filtering plantings.) • Accompany art with an extensive use of plants: evergreen groundcovers, shrubs, and trees on embankments, vines and moss on some walls. • Collaborate with landscape architects to design new plantings at the 160th Street site, as well as along the entire NAE corridor.

• Create an archetypal and utopian place, with references to both the regional Pacific Northwest environment and quixotic places associated with traveling to a new location. • Appeal to the sense of wonder, possibility, and excitement associated with flight, return, and arrival at a new place. • Convey the paradoxical relationship of the universal human dreams of wanting to leave and wanting to go home. • Create a form of “city gates” that mark a portal to the Northwest environment, and a portal to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. • Explore the relationship of the English word “ecology” with its Greek root “oikos,” meaning home.

left: Emerald City artwork diagram left: Wizard of Oz (film still), Victor Freming dir. entry into the Airport (below/top): Loloma Transit Center, by Vito Acconci Tokyo Tower Millennium Lighting, by Motoko Ishii Blue Tilt, by Jenny Holzer Okinawa Night for the World Summit, by Motoko Ishii exit out of the Airport (below/bottom): Chelsea Flower Show entry (glass trough), by Christopher Bradley-Hole Study Wall at University of Washington, by Tom Drugan Honkawane Town, Shizuoka Prefecture (photograph), byToshio Shibata Playground for Riverside Drive Park (model), by Isamu Noguchi

Emerald City as a Dichotomous Threshold: There are two sides of “Emerald City” that play off and blend into each other, both integrating themes of nature and technology inherent to the Pacific Northwest. The two sides should be strongly unified. One side is the Entry into the Airport, around the southbound lanes of the NAE and framing a view of the Air Traffic Control Tower. Art here should announce entry into the often surreal atmosphere of the Airport environment, conveying a fantastic abstraction of nature. Cutting edge materials, forms and processes (possibly reflecting alternative energy) should be explored. Plants accompanying the art should have a theatrical, almost “artificial” quality. The other side of “Emerald City” is the Exit out of the Airport, around the northbound lanes of the NAE and including the area within the new loop ramp. This exit precedes a broad view of the Cascade Mountains, and a descent into the Kent Valley. Art here should announce entry into the Pacific Northwest, conveying a hyper-real accentuation of nature. Plants accompanying the art should evoke a highly “natural” quality.





• Sound Transit Skybridge connecting Light Rail Station to International Boulevard • Port of Seattle Skybridge & Garage Walkway connecting Light Rail Station to Airport Terminal • Entry Portal of existing Port of Seattle Skybridge connecting Garage to Terminal

Budget: • Sound Transit Skybridge: $200,000, includes design fee, fabrication, and installation • Port of Seattle Skybridge & Walkway: to be determined

Potential Art Elements: • • • • • • •

early airplane tie frame

sculptural portals architecturally-integrated elements enhancements to glazing lights digital media sound interactive pieces


• Use medium- and large-scale art that engages pedestrians walking through and vehicles passing beneath the skybridges. • Attention should be paid to entry and exit portals at the ends of the skybridges. In addition to the two skybridges at the Station, the art may also address the entry portal of the existing skybridge that links the Garage and Airport Terminal, to create a continuous series of art experiences. • Create art effects that are activated by the transmission, reflection, and refraction of sunlight, artificial light, and digital media to create a sense of transience and radiance and convey the concept of Transformation. • Art may include a sound component. • Tie art into information technology of the new Northwest. • Art may be linked to views of airplanes from the north side of the Airport skybridge. • Explore collaborating with design teams to conceive of the skybridge structures as art. • Design art for the skybridge to the Airport so it can be relocated to a permanent skybridge when the Garage is expanded in the future. Artist may be commissioned by the Port of Seattle to make adjustments when that phase of work occurs. • Art or design treatments may also be considered for the walkway in the Garage that links the Station to the Airport, although that should not be the focus of the art project.

Concepts: • Create a landmark gateway to the Airport at the west skybridge, and to the City of SeaTac at the east skybridge. • Express a shift from gravity at the east end to ethereality at the west end. • Tap into the palpable sense of parallel worlds and multiple time zones that converge at the Airport. • Synthesize metaphors into a dense amalgam of layered meanings. • Create art that is synthetic, futuristic, rapid. • Use discontinuities in space and time to create gaps completed in the viewer’s mind. • Create art experienced from within, at a more microscopic, kaleidescopic level of nuance and detail than “Emerald City.” • Portray local themes in an abstract language that also speaks to the surreal qualities of the Airport environment.

The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even, diagram by Marcel Duchamp

left: Passerelle, GD Architects below/top: Negev Monument, Dani Karavan Galaxy, James Turrell Glass, Christopher Janney below/bottom: River of Light, Mikyoung Kim Museum of the City, Steven Holl Performing Lightworks, James Turrel




windmills and roads, Tahachapi, California

Special Site Considerations:


• At-Grade and Aerial Light Rail Alignment in the Median of the NAE roadway, from 160th Street to the Light Rail Station

Budget: • $200,000 includes design fee, fabrication, and installation • construction credits for artist-designed functional elements may be applied to art budget • additional funding from the Port of Seattle is possible

Potential Art Elements: • sculptural tops attached to overhead contact system (OCS) poles • banding on OCS poles • coatings on railings and OCS poles • enhancements to aerial guideway columns and trackbed paving


• Use large-scale art that engages vehicle and rail drivers and passengers. • The light rail alignment replaces a planted median with large expanses of concrete and steel. Use art to mitigate this negative impact by incorporating color into the art, and other means. • Explore creating tops for OCS poles that are activated by wind direction and/or speed. OCS elements must be low maintenance and will be the responsibility of Sound Transit. • Focus on form and color, as textural detail will not be well-perceived. • Explore using changes in color and/or form to convey the concept of Transformation. • Artist can specify colors and to some extent types of coatings for railings and OCS poles. (The cost for this enhancement is likely part of the base construction budget.) • Use art as a passive wayfinding feature (for example, a driver knows it’s time to look for the arrival exit when the railings turn blue). • Explore using art to enact a “special event” when the alignment becomes elevated. • Explore using integral color in the concrete columns, aerial guideway, and trackbed paving. • If feasible, integrate plants into art. • Explore the use of special materials in the gaps between the tops of the guideway columns

and the bottoms of the capitals, to create an illusion that the aerial guideway is “floating.” Those joints are 6-8” wide, with neoprene bearings that will be changed periodically. • The columns are notched on two sides so drainage pipes can be inset and hidden. Explore creating a functional intervention where drainage is celebrated rather than hidden, working with engineers to ensure proper drainage.

Concepts: • Create a sequence of art that unifies the site by linking the Airport Entry Gateway Artworks at its north and south ends. • Use art to express a conceptual Transformation between the north and south ends, tying into or manifesting the space-time axis. • Explore art that is activated by wind to express the concept of Transformation, the idea of flight, and the motion of the train when it is not there. • Explore the use of rhythm, repetition, narrative, and syncopation to build upon shifts in views, emotions, and topography inherent to the site.

• OCS poles are H-sections occurring approximately 150-180’ apart along the onemile corridor. • Connecting sculptural tops to the OCS poles will require engineering. Light materials such as cast polycarbonate or aluminum might work best. • The alignment does not have low-voltage power, so lighting is not easily possible without transformers and wiring. However, photovoltaics or other alternative energy systems can be explored. • Concrete highway barriers (almost 3’ tall) will separate the light rail alignment from the NAE on both sides. Railings may also be used. • Although elements of the light rail line where art will be located are Sound Transit property, the alignment is along a right-of-way through Port of Seattle property. The Port, as well as Sound Transit, will review all components and stages of this project.

left: Miami Line, Rockne Krebs below/top: EDF Pylons, Kathryn Gustafson Terrasson (windvane), Kathryn Gustafson Shift and Turn, Topher Delaney OCS poles for Seattle’s Rainier Valley, Norie Sato and Dan Corson below/bottom: Oliver Garden, Topher Delaney Trackbed design for San Francisco’s 3rd Street, Ken Smith San Diego Children’s Hospital, Topher Delaney photo-simulation of colored railing



CELESTIAL CITY Site: • Light Rail Station

Budget: • $150,000, includes design fee, fabrication, and installation

Potential Art Elements: • windscreens, elevator glazing or doors, pavement, or other architecturally-integrated elements • suspended pieces • interactive pieces


Roden Crater (skyspace), James Turrell

Goals: • Use small- to medium-scale art that engages pedestrians waiting for trains. • Collaborate with the design team to integrate art into elements of the station. • Explore the potential to design the entire Station as an artwork, or to link art concepts with architectural concepts. (See requirement in the City of SeaTac Design Standards stating that transit stations should express a theme and include an architectural focal point.) • Explore the use of two-dimensional imagery, since space for free-standing art is limited.

Concepts: • Create a focal point that crystallizes the intersection of the space-to-time and gravity-to-ethereality cross-axes, and the Transformation that occurs between their poles. • Explore creating a vertical axis of art, connecting celestial and terrestrial planes. Art might potentially begin on the underside of the aerial guideway, and pierce through the mezzanine and platform levels, pointing to the sky. • Support “flight” theme of station architecture. • Explore the relationship between local wind conditions and functions of the Airport. • The station will have an interpretive display about the “Epic of the Wind” myth, a local Native American story that includes transformations of characters and landforms. Explore the potential of tying art into this myth. If this option is pursued, artist may coordinate with Muckleshoot tribe for content

below: Curving Linear (train station), Shuhui Endo Wind Veil, Ned Kahn etched glass at Ransom Center, Austin





• Base of Skybridge on International Boulevard

Budget: • to be determined

Potential Art Elements: • • • • • •

brickworks in India

pavement lights and projections sculpture interactive pieces water feature plants


• It is recommended that the City consider including artwork here as part of its future development. • Explore the potential for an artist to collaborate on the design team for the overall project, integrating art concepts throughout the entire public space to create a unique meeting place. • Scale of art should be determined in conjunction with development of the contextual area. In general, use small- to medium-scale art to engage pedestrians who are standing, walking, sitting, or waiting for a bus; use medium- to large-scale art to engage vehicle drivers and passengers. • Explore creating art that can be viewed from buildings and airplanes above. • Consider focusing art on paving elements. (See requirement in the City of SeaTac Design Standards that a minimum of 200 square feet of decorative pavement be used at principal ground level entry points to transit stations.) • Consider accompanying art with landscape enhancements and/or architectural pavement, such as illuminated images projected onto special paving. • Explore specific themes and forms for art with representatives of the City of SeaTac.

Concepts: • This is the “touchdown” point of the art plan area, the one spot where pedestrians’ feet meet the ground—the level at which most human life takes place. Explore the use of art integrated into pavement, or the element of earth, to express this condition of the site that makes it unique in the context of the North Airport Entry. • Create a gateway into the City of SeaTac that expresses the future possibility of a growing city uniquely located at the nexus of the major air, road, and rail transportation networks serving this region. • Draw on the current development of the City of SeaTac to express the concept of Transformation. • Reference something empirically real to evoke a sense that the site is grounded in the particular substance and culture of an actual place. • In addition to expressing the future opportunity associated with the city’s growth, explore the use of art as an expression of the area’s geography (Highline topography), geology (glacial deposits, spring-fed lakes), cultural history with the land (agriculture), and transportation corridors (original brick highways). • Use a contemporary aesthetic to represent and abstract historical thematic content.

left: Berlin Asphalt Painting, Topotek below: Paving, unknown artist Undercurrents, Laura Haddad Rooftop Maze, Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan


existing wall between NAE and International Boulevard



Airport Parking Garage Extension

Plants Plantings should accompany the art projects. In keeping with recommendations of the Landscape Design Guidelines, care should be taken to include a rich palette of plants at all available surfaces along the North Airport Expressway and its adjacent areas. This may include groundcovers, shrubs, and trees on embankments, as well as vines climbing on walls.

Site: • Exterior of Parking Garage, especially focusing on future north wall and northwest corner. Goals: • Create a gateway into the Airport Terminal. • Use large-scale art that engages vehicular passengers. • Create architecturally-integrated surface treatments or sculptural attachments. • Accompany with evergreen plantings (shrubs and vines) along the west face of the Garage. Concepts: • Extend concepts of the “Transcendent City” artwork: portray the idea of parallel worlds and multiple time zones that converge at the Airport through the airplanes and cars traveling in and out of its environment. (For instance, each floor level could express a different layer of parallel universes.)

existing north side of parking garage

signage on northwest corner

A plan for different types of landscape plantings across the North Airport Entry area is intended to accompany and enrich the Conceptual Vision for art as well as goals for individual art projects. For instance, strong evergreen borders on the sides of the NAE may accompany the “Linear City” artwork. In addition to acting as a buffer to the densely built contextual environment, the constancy of the evergreen plants can act as a counterpoint to the Transformation of the art, enhancing its perception.


When possible, and when not treated as canvases for art, existing and new retaining walls should be treated as “green walls,” with plants growing on and in front of them. This is particularly applicable for walls between the North Airport Expressway and International Boulevard.


Consider designing new walls so that large surfaces are broken up. This can occur spatially, with a zig-zag configuration, or texturally, with patterns applied by formliners (as alternatives to standard split-fin finish). New wall treatments should be designed to integrate well with the existing contiguous wall that extends to the south and will remain.



Artist Selection Methods Direct Selection. Because of the fast-track schedule for the Port of Seattle’s 160th Loop Ramp and Sound Transit Enabling projects (60% Design Documents are due in July 2005), artist intervention is required now for the “Emerald City” art project. It is recommended that the art planners who developed this art plan, Haddad|Drugan, be commissioned to implement the “Emerald City” project. This takes advantage of complex knowledge about the project and relationships with the design team that they have acquired through working on the art plan. Invitational Competitions. Selection of artists for the “Transcendent City,” “Linear City,” and “Celestial City” projects should be grouped into one process. It is recommended that that a curatorial group consisting of representatives of Sound Transit, the Port of Seattle, and the art planner team select a pool of potential artists for each of the three commissions. Sound Transit’s artist roster will be the primary resource for identifying the pools, but artists of interest who are not already on the roster may also be considered. Artists selected for the pools will then be contacted and given more information about the project(s) for which they are being considered. Those who are interested in the project(s) may elect to submit additional materials, such as a letter that addresses their interest in and initial approach to the specific opportunity. A selection panel consisting of the art planners, at least one other artist, representatives from the design team(s), and representatives of the Port of Seattle  NORTH AIRPORT ENTRY ART PLAN

Criteria for Artist Selection

Art Project Development

and Sound Transit will be assembled to review the artists’ materials and identify a small group of finalists to interview for each project. Prior to their interviews, the short list of artists will be given an orientation to the conceptual vision of the art plan and specific goals for the individual project(s) for which they are being considered. The art planners and representatives of Sound Transit and the Port of Seattle will conduct this orientation. The selection panel will then reconvene to interview the artists, and make final artist selections based on past work, interviews, references, and artists’ understanding of and visions for the project.

Although not essential to the success of how the art projects are perceived on an individual level, the underlying goal of this art plan is to link the projects so that their implied interaction creates its own conceptual artwork. Because the projects stretch over an area of more than a mile, one way to enhance this effect is to commission artists who work in complimentary styles. In keeping with the Design Guidelines’ vision of using Progressive Modern Architecture, artists selected for projects should have a timeless aesthetic that will continue to feel “modern” through limitless possibilities of future Airport transformations.

Artists selected for the “Transcendent City,” “Linear City,” and “Celestial City” projects will meet with the art planners and representatives of the Port of Seattle and Sound Transit prior to developing concepts. The purpose of these meetings will be to further orient the artists to specific issues, concepts, and goals that have been identified for each project, and to answer any questions they may have at the onset.

Open Competition. It is recommended that artist selection for the “Terrestrial City” project be conducted through an open call for artists, limiting the call to regional artists who have an understanding of SeaTac and who are available to work with the community.

These artists will be strong conceptual thinkers with a site-specific approach to making art. They will be experienced at working on design teams, and with environmental processes and architectural integration. Artists should have a broad knowledge of exterior media, and should exhibit a modernist truth to materials in their past work.

A selection panel consisting of one of the artist planners, another artist, at least one community member, a representative from the design team working on the site development, and representatives from the City of SeaTac will be assembled to review the artists’ materials. A short list of artists will be identified to be interviewed or to develop artwork proposals. The panel will reconvene to conduct interviews or review proposals, and make a final artist selection.

Artists working on projects that interface with the City of SeaTac should have experience working with communities.

Artists will primarily work on their own, and in collaboration with their respective design teams. However, if project development schedules coincide, project artists should communicate with each other during the conceptual design phase to exchange ideas.

Art Project Review Reviews will be conducted at milestone points as the art projects are in design development. The Airport Link Urban Design Review Committee, which includes representatives of the Port of Seattle, Sound Transit, and the City of SeaTac, has been formed to review art and architecture projects at and adjacent to the Airport that have to do with light rail construction. The structure of the design review process wil be determined by all of the agencies involved, but it is anticipated that this committee will be a primary reviewer. Art projects on Port of Seattle property will additionally be reviewed by the Port of Seattle’s Art Oversight Committee and Roadway Projects Visual Review Committee.

Projects should be reviewed with the following criteria: • conceptual content • adherence to art plan conceptual vision and guiding principles • coordination with other art projects identified in the art plan • quality of work • appropriateness of materials, forms, and scale • integration/intervention into context • safety • maintenance • budget • schedule

WSDOT will review any projects on their property. A special condition exists for the “Linear City” project. The selected artist will be asked to propose concepts, study feasibility, and provide budgets for various art concepts and elements, some of which will be enhancements to functional pieces funded through the base construction budget. A review will occur at the completion of that phase of work, after which additional funding (if any) will be identified and the artist will be given direction about which concepts to develop. The format and panel members for that review will be determined as the project develops, and will include representatives of the Port of Seattle and Sound Transit. IMPLEMENTING THE ART PLAN


Borsi, Architecture and Utopia (Paris: Éditiones Hazan, 1997).

Halprin, Lawrence, Freeways (New York: Reinhold, 1966).

Barthes, Roland, “Martians,” The Eiffel Tower and other mythologies (New York: Farrrar, Stroux, and Giroux, 1979), 27-29.

Le Corbusier, Aircraft (Milan: Editrice Abitare Segesta, 1996).

Black, Archibald (ed.), American Airport Designs (New York: Lehigh Portland Cement Company, 1930). Borge, Jorge Luis, “The Library of Babel,” Labyrinths (New York: New Directions, 1962), 51-58. Callenbach, Ecotopia (New York: Banyan Tree Books, 1975). Calvino, Italo, Invisible Cities (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974). Campanella, Tommaso, City of the Sun (Berkeley: University of California, 1981). Crowley, Walt, “Seattle-Tacoma International Airport “Parts 1, 2, and 3),” Dorpat, Paul and Walt Crowley, “SeaTac—Thumbnail History,” Fleming, Victor (dir.), The Wizard of Oz (Los Angeles: Turner Entertainment, 1939). Foucault, Michel. “Of Other Spaces,” Diacritics 16 (Spring 1986), 22-27.


Mitchell, William J., City of Bits (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996). Rowe, Colin and Fred Koetter, Collage City (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1978). Rushdie, Salman, The Wizard of Oz (London: British Film Institute, 1992). Schwarzer, Mitchell, Zoomscape (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2004). Willis, Daniel, The Emerald City and other essays on the architectural imagination (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999),

Profile for Haddad|Drugan

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport North Entry Art Plan  

Haddad|Drugan developed a comprehensive plan for incorporating art into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s entry roadway and light rail...

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport North Entry Art Plan  

Haddad|Drugan developed a comprehensive plan for incorporating art into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s entry roadway and light rail...