Volume 37, Issue 9, September 2002


Chihuly Connections: New Bridge Creates A Link to Museum of Glass

Chihuly Bridge of Glass, Venetian Wall, 2002 Tacoma, Washington Dale Chihuly, Artist, Andersson•Wise Architects.

How does one get from Tacoma, Wash.’s Union Station to the Washington State History Museum to the city’s new Museum of Glass? By walking through and around glass. In his hometown, glass artist, Dale Chihuly, worked with architect Arthur Andersson of Andersson·Wise Architects of Austin, Texas, to create the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, which was dedicated and opened to the public on July 6—the same day that the new glass museum opened. 

Museum of Glass
The new Museum of Glass: International Center for Contemporary Art is a fine arts museum “dedicated to presenting the medium of glass within the context of contemporary art in all media.” Its opening celebrations offered visitors the opportunity to watch Chihuly and his team at work. The Pilchuck Glass School and the Pratt Fine Arts Center also lead demonstrations. Outside, local groups and organizations conducted musical performances.

Bridge of Glass
The Chihuly Bridge of Glass, which was gifted by the Museum of Glass to the city of Tacoma, is approximately 500 feet long, 20 feet wide and, at its peak, tops nearly 80 feet above the ground. The bridge is made up of three installations, the Seaform Pavilion, the Venetian Wall and the Crystal Towers.

In the Seaform Pavilion, visitors will find a ceiling crawling with what look like colorful, squirming sea creatures, but are actually 2,364 objects from Chihuly’s Seaform and Persian series. The pieces, which cover a 50-by-20 foot plate-glass ceiling, are suspended in mid air. 

The Venetian Wall features an 80-foot display case that holds 109 Chihuly sculptures, and the objects on display are from his Venetians, Ikebana and Putti series. The display case that houses the art is made of black, stainless-steel frames and translucent glass. 

The Crystal Towers, which mark the bridge’s center, rise 40 feet above the bridge. The towers are made of 63 large crystals made of Polyvitro, a polyurethane material. 

Securing the Art
To protect the objects architects chose products from St. Louis-based Solutia Inc. 

In the Seaform Pavilion, the ceiling panels are made of Solutia's Saflex interlayers. For the walls in the pavilion designers chose the company's Vanceva. With Vanceva, a multi-ply laminate sandwich was created with the Evening Shadow colored interlayer between Arctic Snow translucent interlayers. 

In the Venetian, a Saflex interlayer in a double-laminate configuration protects each object. For the glass used behind the Venetian wall architects used the Vanceva Cool White interlayer between clear interlayers. 

A project such as the Chihuly Bridge of Glass required involvement from a number of specialty contractors as well. A. Zahner Co. of Kansas City, Mo., fabricated and installed the pavilion cases, while Putnam Collins Associates provided the engineering for the pavilion case structures. Fabrication Specialties of Seattle fabricated the steel work and installation of the towers on the deck level of the bridge.

Morse Industries Announces New East Coast Location
Kent, Wash.-based Morse Industries announced that it has opened a new facility in Charlotte, N.C., providing metal products to glaziers and glass shops on the East Coast. “Sales to customers in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states have grown exponentially and we needed a location in that region to maintain the level of service our customers expect,” said Terry Morse, president of Morse Industries. “We chose Charlotte due to its central location and the fact that most of our East Coast customers are serviceable within 24 hours by truck delivery,” he said. “It's a very distribution-friendly city and we look forward to providing a level of service in the region comparable to what we have provided on the West Coast for 20 years.”
Morse Industries now operates locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Charlotte.

Say “Aluminum Finishing!”
Atlanta-based Southern Aluminum Finishing Co. announced the winners of its first Aluminum Finishing Project Photo Contest. Judged on several factors including project importance, architectural appeal and general interest, first-, second- and third-place winners received $250, $100 and $50 respectively. Winners may also have their company affiliations and projects highlighted on the company’s website and in its promotions.

First place in the contest went to Tri-Tech Inc. of Austell, Ga., and was submitted by Mike Bivins. The prize-winning photos showed Tri-Tech’s duranodic dark-bronze anodized handrails installed on the grounds of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building Plaza in Oklahoma City. 

SSAF1ST                     SSAF2ND                    SSAF3RD   
From left to right:
First Place: Tri-Tech Inc., Austell, Ga. Submitted by: Mike Bivins. Project: Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building Plaza, Oklahoma City.
Second Place: Glass & Metal Inc., Harrisonburg, Va. Submitted by: Don Coffey. Project: McLeod Hall at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.
Third Place: Jack and Andrea Cline, Flagstaff, Ariz. Submitted by: Jack and Andrea Cline.
Project: Private Residence, Flagstaff.

Second- and third-place winners were Don Coffey of Glass & Metal Inc. in Harrisonburg, Va., and Jack and Andrea Cline of Flagstaff, Ariz. 
Edgetech Honored With Ohio Governor's Award for Exporting Excellence
Ohio’s Gov. Bob Taft presented Edgetech IG of Cambridge, Ohio, with a 2002 Governor’s Excellence in Exporting award (“E” award). Edgetech was one of 29 companies honored. 

EDGETECH Mike Hovan, president of Edgetech, accepted the “E” Award, which was presented by Ohio Gov. Bob Taft.

“We are certainly honored to receive this prestigious award from the state of Ohio and Gov. Taft,” said Edgetech IG president Mike Hovan. “We match up well with all of the criteria of the award. Our sales volume and employment are up as a result of exports, and we have a clear strategy to continue developing international activity. It's very rewarding to be honored for all of our hard work.” 


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