Chihuly Bridge at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington

The Chihuly Bridge is a destination feature for Tacoma, Washington. Designed by Andersson-Wise Architects as an addition to the Tacoma Museum of Glass, the project provides a pedestrian bridge to downtown Tacoma. Made possible by a donation from Jim and Carolyn Milgard, the bridge crosses over major rail lines and links the Museum of Glass to Union Station and the State History Museum. 

Zahner served as both the sole contractor and manufacturer in the production of the Chihuly Bridge of Glass. This construction included all structural steel, glazing and cladding elements as well as fiber optics and vacuum HVAC system within the cases.

The system that Zahner used for the glass encasement of the artworks is the Drop Lock glass installation system, which allows for easy installation and sustainable maintenance. The system builds on Zahner's patented Inverted Seam system for creating co-planar metal facades and roofs. The assembled panels provide rapid installation, require no silicone, and result in a visually clean edge with a dry look.

Visitors who walk across the bridge get a closer look at the work of artist Dale Chihuly. The bridge is divided into three sections:

— Seaform Pavilion: a glass ceiling and canopy system showcasing 2,364 works of Chihuly glass from his Seaform and Persian series.
— Crystal Towers: a permanent art installation by Chihuly, rising 40 feet above the bridge deck and serve as beacons of light.
— Venetian Wall: an eighty-foot long installation displaying 109 sculptures from three of Chihuly's series: Venetians, Ikebana, and Putti.

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Venetian Wall for the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, with Museum of Glass in the background
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Pedestrians cross the Chihuly Bridge of Glass
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Venetian Wall at the Chihuly Bridge of Glass
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Seaform Pavilion at the Chihuly Bridge of Glass
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Chihuly Bridge Seaform Pavilion, designed by Andersson Wise
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Zahner field construction crew delivers the Seaform Pavilion for the Chihuly Bridge of Glass
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Zahner field construction crew installs the Seaform Pavilion for the Chihuly Bridge of Glass
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Zahner field construction crew installs the Seaform Pavilion for the Chihuly Bridge of Glass
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Zahner field construction crew installs the Seaform Pavilion for the Chihuly Bridge of Glass
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Plaque for the Venetian Wall at the Chihuly Bridge of Glass
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Chihuly Bridge designed by Andersson Wise.

Press

  • US Glass Magazine - Chihuly Connections: New Bridge Creates A Link to Museum of Glass.
  • ArchNewsNow - Chihuly Bridge of Glass By Arthur W. Andersson, AIA/Andersson-Wise Architects