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.
Museum of Glass
Designed by Arthur Erickson, the Museum of Glass is dedicated to Dale Chihuly, renowned contemporary glass artist and local of Tacoma, Washington. A bridge connects the museum to downtown all the way across a freeway, displaying thousands of Dale Chihuly works along the way. Zahner produced the metalwork for the glass bridge as well as the massive cone which can be identified throughout the downtown area. The cone was manufactured in stainless steel diamond panel system which was attached to a ZEPPS structural framework, each made by Zahner.
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.