Glass specialist John Hogan has collaborated with the Seattle-trained and internationally acclaimed architect James KM Cheng to create a building that is itself a work of art.
SEATTLE — Seattle will soon get a first look at First Light, the introductory project in Seattle from Westbank, the international firm that has cultivated a specialty in creating buildings that integrate public art into award-winning architecture.
On Oct. 23, Westbank introduced First Light with a keynote event at the Seattle Cinerama Theater. It was a full house with close to 500 brokers attending the keynote — the largest broker turnout for a single project in the last decade.
The 47-story, 459-home luxury condominium tower will be topped by two floors of resident amenities. Among its signature features will be a lap pool that floats over the edge of the 47th floor.
Perhaps even more defining will be the artwork of glass specialist John Hogan, who has collaborated with the Seattle-trained and internationally acclaimed architect James KM Cheng to create a building that is itself a work of art.
Cheng and Westbank founder Ian Gillespie say they wanted to bring something unique to this pivotal location, so close to Pike Place Market and convenient to everything from the immediate theater, gallery and restaurant district to the offices of downtown and South Lake Union and the redeveloping waterfront.
Entranced by the warm light of the Pacific Northwest, Gillespie and Cheng sought out Hogan, hoping for an artistic component that might complete the building.
For the exterior, Hogan designed a series of veils, formed of glass discs sus-pended on strong, light steel cables. These will embrace and enliven a seven-story office podium and will sparkle, as well, from the highest floors above the residential tower.
Inside the building, residents will find more glass sculptures, variations on the outdoor veils and, in the lobby and penthouse homes, custom chandeliers that Hogan designed with metal artist Bec Brittain.
The homes — from bright, open studios to spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom homes and penthouses — will all be works of art in their own right, with kitchen cabinetry designed by James KM Cheng Architects in collaboration with a custom millwork from Italy, curated by the leading international furniture designer B&B Italia and appliances by Miele.
A full range of amenity offerings includes full-time concierge service; a 47th-floor Residents’ Salon; the luxurious Bike Clubhouse with BMW bikeshare; a residents-only luxury car-share program; including the over 3,000-square-foot wellness and fitness center on level 46; and the rooftop Secret Garden.
A culture company more than a developer, Westbank often accompanies its new projects with a public exhibition of the architecture and public art it is bringing to the site. In addition to the First Light Presentation Gallery, Westbank is also building a second pavilion at Third and Virginia to house a free public art exhibition entitled “Light as a Common Thread.” It will feature architectural models, an organic sculpture garden and glass castings from Cheng and Hogan, as well as the landscape architects at PFS Studio.