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Sticken artwork at 555 Tower
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Creating Transformative Spaces with Public Art in Bellevue

Today’s office workers have enormous expectations for where they work. From inside the workspace to outside at the ground plane, the physical space has to check myriad boxes. Is it inspiring? Is it fun? Is it a space where I can do my best work? Our team thinks deeply about how to create spaces that people want to spend time in. Having a sense of place and character is key, and that’s why all our projects incorporate thought-provoking and captivating public art.

Our Public Artworks Guide

Check out our interactive Public Artworks Guide to view the artworks we have commissioned at our developments.

When we entered the Bellevue office market, we wanted to select public art unique to each project that would draw people into what would eventually be memorable world-class spaces. West Main comprises a half-block urban campus of three mixed-use, office-over-retail buildings. A few blocks away, 555 Tower rises to 600 feet—the tallest structure in downtown Bellevue’s skyline. 

We prioritize conversation-starting, pedestrian-scaled experiences

In the search for artwork that aligned with our goals, we worked closely with the design teams of each project to explore a roster of artists. Our panel placed a high priority on selecting artists with esteem and acumen, but who had never produced art at this scale before. Our art consultant, Greg Bell, was pivotal in coordinating this process and got alongside the artists to help work through the practicalities of scaling-up their work.  

Groves and Stones artwork with artist, Julian
Artist Julian Watts with his in-progress artwork, Groves and Stones. Photo by Travis Fouts.

One of the first artists we approached was Oregon-based Julian Watts. Julian’s craft-based work straddles the divide between art and design. His Groves and Stones is situated in the West Main plaza, and is made up of eight abstract sculptures. These forms reference the boulders, mountains and trees of the Pacific Northwest, embodying the poetic vitality found in the natural world. Julian’s vision challenges traditional sculptural concepts by offering a unique component—interactivity. The artworks are intended to be touched and sat upon, offering a playful connection to the natural world in our daily lives. Julian’s sculptures are thoughtfully placed throughout the plaza, guiding visitors while activating the space, inviting interaction at each step. 

De Sol a Sol artwork with artist, Ivan
Artist Iván Carmona in front of De Sol a Sol at West Main on installation day. Photo by Ulysses Curry.

De Sol a Sol, created by Iván Carmona, is situated between West Main’s Tower 2 and 3. It welcomes guests as they arrive with an extended “waving” arm, creating a moving point of visual interest. Iván’s work pays homage to his Puerto Rican roots. The title is inspired by an early Puerto Rican phrase to describe the country people, or Jíbaro, who farm the land in a traditional way and work “from sunrise to sunset.” Iván’s creation invites viewers to share in his culture, while also sparking curiosity through its abstract nature and vibrant shapes and angles.  

Sticken artwork with artists, Rik and Shelley
Artists Rik and Shelley Muzylowski Allen with Sticken, Pomollusca Arboculus Rex at 555 Tower. Photo by Ulysses Curry.

Rik and Shelley Muzylowski Allen’s pieces can be found in the Bellevue Grand Connection and the East Plaza of 555 Tower. The artists’ large flowing octopus (Sticken, Pomollusca Arboculus Rex) and proud heron (Heronious One, Pescamatic Pomonid) sculptures offer a complementary, conversation-starting experience that encourages wandering pedestrians to stop, make aesthetic connections, and observe with delight.

For these sculptures, Rik and Shelly sourced materials from their home in Skagit Valley, including thousands of branches from a century-old King Apple Tree planted by some of the area’s early Swedish immigrants. Both creations pay homage to Washington’s famous Salish Sea, and take inspiration from other iconic Pacific Northwest landscapes.

We see public art as an essential component of place-making

In total, employees and visitors will be able to explore 11 pieces of public art at West Main and 555 Tower—some of which were more than three years in the making. Each of the contributing artists derived inspiration from their own passions, crafting sculptures that bring vibrancy, context and connectivity to the surrounding environment. We see these creative, innovative pieces as essential place-making components, elevating the space for all to enjoy.

Kid playing on Groves and Stones artwork
A child playing on Groves and Stones—a public artwork that is meant to be interacted with. Photo by Benjamin Benschneider.

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