When development firm Vulcan Real Estate asked world-renowned artist Spencer Finch to design an architectural canopy to connect the two office buildings at the center of Amazon’s campus in Seattle, his first course of action was a walk in the woods.
Seeing the shapes formed by the overlapping leaves above and the different patterns of light filtering through the trees was all the inspiration Finch needed to achieve the objective of adding a creative, artistic element to the classic canopy design and reflecting the local culture, all while providing an open, welcoming feeling in an urban setting.
Thus was born Finch’s “There Is Another Sky.” Situated four stories above an outdoor plaza, the decorative canopy features an abstract circular design pattern imprinted on technographic interlayer film and then laminated between two lites of clear glass. This process ensured the correct depth and vibrancy of color, while making the glass safe for use in overhead installations.
The technographic interlayer process uses a polyester film that can be printed with high-resolution images, and can achieve virtually all color profiles. The result is a versatile decorative glass that can accommodate a wide range of images and designs for both interior and exterior applications.
Finch developed the pattern with five hues and opacities to control and vary the amount of light filtering through.
To achieve the effect Finch was seeking, a finished segment of the canopy was placed over the plaza with a crane before final installation.
The canopy is one of the hallmarks of the 37,161-m2 (400,000-sf) expansion of Amazon’s headquarters in the South Lake Union neighborhood. The redevelopment project, designed by ZGF Architects, creates a modern, flexible workplace.
The patterns and colors within the canopy shift the light to create a space for reflection and call attention to the places people inhabit, making them feel as if they are “walking beneath a forest canopy,” says Finch.