A Sound Garden is one of six outdoor public art works on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) campus that lies adjacent to the Warren G. Magnuson Park on the northwestern shore of Lake Washington in Seattle, Washington. The Seattle Arts Commission guided the jury selection headed by Sadao James Hilario, Engineer-in-charge of the GSA Art in Architecture Program for the NOAA Project, and the jury chose five artists from a pool of more than 250.
Designed and built by sculptor Douglas Hollis from 1982–83, A Sound Garden is a sculptural group composed of 12 21 feet (6.4 m) high steel tower structures, at the top of each of which hangs an organ pipe attached to a weather vane that produces soft-toned sounds when it is rotated or passed through by the wind.
Because of its location overlooking Lake Washington, its visual and kinetic qualities, and the fact that the Seattle-based rock band Soundgarden took their name from this art work, the installation attracts many visitors. When Soundgarden's frontman Chris Cornell died on May 17, 2017, the sculptures became a makeshift memorial to his life.
A Sound Garden and the other artworks on NOAA's campus are open to the public, but access has been monitored and restricted since the September 11, 2001 attacks. Visitors must enter at NOAA's main access road at 7600 Sand Point Way and stop at the security guard station for an approved pass, for which a photo ID (such as a student ID, state driver's license, etc.) is required. The NOAA campus is open on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; entry is permitted until 3:30 p.m.
Hollis's other projects include "Field of Vision", a grove of 950 wind vanes designed for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York; "Mountain Mirage" at the Denver International Airport in Colorado, a fountain of over 3,000 water spouts that creates a topographical representation of the Rocky Mountains (1999); and a 4,000-foot water and stone installation for the San José Civic Center in California (2005).
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