An inSPIREd Afternoon at Chihuly

Seattle is full of surprises and Spire offers a unique opportunity to live life on the edge – squarely planted within easy reach of cultural experiences made to delight your senses at every turn. One such experience is found at Chihuly Garden and Glass, located at the base of the Space Needle on the grounds of the Seattle Center and ~0.3 miles from Spire. The glass art is so inspiring that we’ve incorporated Chihuly’s work in the design of Spire’s own Gallery on Level 40. Here, you’ll find 6 vibrantly colorful prints above the U-shaped banquettes.


Explore a garden full of glasswork in lieu of flowers bursting with color year-round. Join us as we lay out ways to fill your day with bold, bright colors and beautiful blooms at nearby Chihuly Garden and Glass which showcases the oeuvre of glass from world-famous glass artist Dale Chihuly. The artwork takes on different qualities throughout the day, as the natural light changes it. Chihuly’s work is known for using glass as a purely artistic medium and creating sculptures that captivate onlookers.


Providing a look at the inspiration and influences that inform the career of artist Dale Chihuly, the garden includes multiple galleries, the centerpiece Glasshouse and a lush Garden. Chihuly Garden and Glass offers an audio tour that you can access on your smartphone for free. As you explore the Exhibition, it will give you a behind-the-scenes take on all the pieces within the Exhibition. Each gallery has its themes and has a story behind the making.


Winter Brilliance. This gallery invites you to take in the hundreds of hand-blown glass icicles formed into crystalline sculptures. The starlight chandeliers and towers are made up of a unique icicle form that Chihuly developed in 1996.


Northwest Room. This room contains glass baskets and a small cross section of Chihuly’s extensive collection of gorgeous Navajo Blankets. If you look closely at the glass baskets and pay attention to the detailed drawings on the baskets, then look at the trade blankets you’ll see a remarkable similarity in forms, in colors, in textures.



Sealife Room. All the works in this room reflect Dale’s love of the sea, being raised on the water in the Pacific Northwest. The ceiling high sea life tower embodies the colors of the sea and contains hidden treasures such as starfish and seashells. The Sealife figures do not appear often in Chihuly’s installations. They’re only sporadically found on Chandeliers and Towers.


Persian Ceiling. Here, you’ll discover an overhead flat panel of glass containing an assortment of backlit pieces that resemble a swarm of jellyfish, but with more variety in color, hue, pattern, and shape. In creating the Persian Ceiling, Dale was trying to make something that people had never seen before. The light above shines through the glass leaving rainbow reflections along the walls.


Mille Fiori. Meaning “thousand flowers” in Italian, Chihuly was inspired by his mother’s garden to create this incredible glass installation. You’ll experience an explosion of colors, primary colors, yellow, blue, red, and forms.


Ikebana and Float Boats. The Ikebana and Float boats were inspired by Dale’s experience in Nuutajӓrvi in Finland in the mid-1990s. The float boats are an explosion of color drawing from the Japanese art of flower arrangement known as Ikebana.


Glasshouse. The centerpiece of Chihuly Garden and Glass is the Glasshouse. A 40-foot tall, glass and steel structure covering 4,500 square feet of light-filled space, the Glasshouse is the result of Chihuly’s lifelong appreciation for conservatories. The installation in the Glasshouse is an expansive 100-foot long sculpture in a color palette of reds, oranges, yellows and amber. Made of many individual elements, it is one of Chihuly’s largest suspended sculptures. The perception of the artwork varies greatly with natural light and as the day fades into night. Bonus view: If you look up, you can also see the Space Needle!


Garden. Chihuly has shown his artwork in botanical gardens all over the world, but this was his first time working with a landscape designer to create a space unlike that of any garden or exhibition elsewhere. The unique plant collection is specially chosen to complement Chihuly’s work and the striking colors and forms of the trees, plants, and flowers create a rich backdrop for the art. With an ever-changing, lush landscape, those who visit will enjoy a distinct experience with each new season. Plant List & Garden Map.


Pro Tip from CityPass: Though the glass is beautiful inside the galleries year-round, the garden is at its most spectacular under sunny skies. Try to plan your Chihuly visit when the sun is out. The reflectivity of the glass will make the works pop even more. However, the museum is an entirely new spectacle at night when the glass in the garden is lit up against the dark sky. If you only have time to tour the museum once, plan your visit close to sunset so you can see the moving sun transform the glass.


Drawing Wall. The Drawings are a really major part of Dale’s work. His drawings, like his glass sculptures, are about the process of their own creation.


Chandeliers. Dale woke up one morning and said “I want to hang chandeliers over the canals of Venice, my favorite city.” Now the chandelier sculptures hang in all shapes and colors, wowing all visitors.


Macchia Forest. This is a phenomenal gallery with flower-like bowls are lit only from above, but they appear to glow from within due to process of layering colored glass on top of a white glass base. Chihuly’s Mother referred to these stunning works as “The Uglies”, but were ultimately named Macchia, meaning “spotted” in Italian.


“If I had not been a sculptor or an artist, I would love to have been a film director or an architect.” – Dale Chihuly


Grab a Bite to Eat. Savor Pacific Northwest wines and beer paired with handmade stone-fired Neapolitan pizza from two food and beverage options at Chihuly Garden and Glass. Situated outdoors between the Glasshouse, Chandelier Walkway and Community Hot Shop, the new Art Plaza offers the opportunity to watch live glassblowing demonstrations while enjoying lunch or a drink. Collections Café is a one-of-a-kind space offering a rare glimpse into Dale Chihuly’s personal collections and design aesthetic. Unwind in this unique setting, which is open to the public.


Take in a Film. You’ll want to know more about the process of blowing glass after visiting these exhibits. The Theater presents short videos on Chihuly’s working process — interviews, glassblowing, working onsite doing installations and exhibitions.


Bring Home a Coffee Table Book. The Bookstore offers a variety of books and materials relating to Dale Chihuly’s artworks and projects, including some Studio Editions and special designs by the artist. The Bookstore has also partnered with Northwest companies and many talented artisans to offer a broad selection of items that reflect the creative spirit of our region.


Pro Tip: There are plenty of staff photographers on-site who will help you take professional-quality photographs, which you can then access later on their website… so be sure to take advantage!


Spire is situated at the nexus of local culture, world-class architecture, and culinary gems, minutes away from Amazon’s headquarters, abundant greenspaces, and the waterfront. Epic adventures and new experiences are never far when you live life on the edge. Learn more about our unique location at the junction of Belltown, South Lake Union and Denny Triangle by visiting our neighborhood.

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