Seattle – Downtown at the Henry Moore & Public Library

Henry Moore Seattle-1

Henry Moores’  Three Part Vertebrae sits directly across from the amazing Seattle  Public Library.  I almost fell over when I saw these neighbours on Fourth Avenue.

Seattle Public Library 1_

Visionary and inspirational – more public buildings should be like this. It’s a big bold and beautiful beehive of public space. Everyone I talked to, from staff to readers, were enormously proud, grateful and delighted with their library.

Seattle Public Library Entrance

Sited massively on Fourth, a deep overhang provides a dry, warm,  and welcoming human scaled entrance.  Designed by Rem Koolhaas, it was completed in 2004.

The Fountain of Wisdom by Seattle area Sculptor George Tsutakawa is a gracious official greeter.

Seattle Public Library Big Space-2

I continued to be gobsmacked inside standing on a polished wood plank floor of words. Created by Ann Hamilton, they’re filled with backward phrases from eleven language scripts.

Seattle Public Library Floor

With Koolhaas, you get great precision combined with a powerful use of space.  He has a unique and sensitive approach to both colour and materials.  And, I think his buildings have a sense of humour.

Seattle Public Library Art Green EscalatorSeattle Public Library Art - by escalator

Tony Oursler’s talking heads installation, video projections on ovals, run along one of the lime green escalator walls. Transitions between floors is indeed stimulating.

Seattle Public Library Art 10th Floor

Did I mention colour???  This reading room and viewing gallery is on the 10th floor.

Seattle Public Library Art Translucent Stacks

Did I mention materials?  One example that I particularly enjoyed is the use of translucent shelving allowing you an all sides view of the books.

Seattle Public Library Art View to Main

Looking onto the main floor with the flow of opalescent shelving, carpet and green space.  The building provides many exciting opportunities to view different levels of the library. It gives the place a feeling of openness, community, and solidarity.

Seattle Public Library Gift Store

I did exit through their very fine gift shop.  For heaven’s sake, please visit the Central Library when you’re in Seattle!

For a detailed description of this amazing building, visit the Arcspace link:

For more information on the some of the Artists represented in the Library, go to:

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