Chihuly Bridge of Glass, Tacoma

#5 of 54 in Things to do in Tacoma
Landmark · Tourist Spot
A partnership between the Museum of Glass, legendary Studio Glass pioneer Dale Chihuly and the city of Tacoma resulted in the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, a 500-foot-long pedestrian overpass links the Museum to downtown Tacoma and its cultural corridor. Austin-based Arthur Andersson, architect of the Washington State History Museum, designed the bridge in close collaboration with Chihuly, who directed the artistic concept. The bridge provides a means for the internationally-renowned Chihuly to contribute in a very public way to his hometown.

Three distinct installations comprise the Bridge of Glass. Furthest from the Museum is the Seaform Pavilion, a ceiling made of 2,364 objects from Chihuly's Seaform and Persian series. Placed on top of a fifty-by-twenty-foot plate-glass ceiling, the forms are suspended in midair and make dramatic use of natural light. As visitors walk under this pavilion, they experience a seemingly underwater world of glass shapes and forms a few feet above their heads.

Marking the center of the bridge are the Crystal Towers, which rise forty feet above the bridge deck and serve as beacons of light for the bridge and city. Illuminated from below, the forms glow at night. The 63 large crystals in each tower are made from Polyvitro, a polyurethane material developed to withstand the elements. The Crystal Tower elements are raw, brutal forms, monumental and bold, that appear as if cut from mountain peaks or taken from frozen alpine lakes.

At the approach to the Museum is the Venetian Wall, an eighty-foot installation displaying 109 sculptures from three of Chihuly's series: Venetians, Ikebana, and Putti. The Venetians are exuberant sculptures with origins in Venetian Art Deco glass. Ikebana are quiet pieces, created in the spirit of traditional Japanese floral arrangements. Putti were popular figures in European art of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and represent Cupid, the Roman god of love. The Venetian Wall is a collection of some of the largest blown-glass works executed in the history of the medium.
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Chihuly Bridge of Glass reviews

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  • We visited the Chihuly Bridge of Glass on the way to the Museum of Glass. I have been a Chihuly fan for many years and it was a wonderful way to see different pieces  more »
  • I suggest go to the bridge instead of the museum. It’s free, you will see a lot more glass work and you are not subjected to the homosexual exhibit.  more »
  • If you are just passing by the place then stop and see it. It's amazing and helps understand how an art can be done in glass. The museum is bigger and more beautiful. You need to park by paying in near by parking and the walk. Lots of photos opportunities and soothing place to spend 30 mins to an hour. There are places to sit and enjoy the beauty too.
  • This is amazing. It's a beautiful sculpture and a must see if you're in the area.

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