Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, Seattle WA
Marion Oliver McCaw Hall is the home of the Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet. The exterior architecture uses a cool, monochromatic material and color palette while the interior uses rich, saturated colors and textured iridescent fabrics, carpets, etc. wpa's exterior signage employs the same colors and materials used by LMN Architects and carefully integrates our design with their architecture to the extent that one cannot readily distinguish the signage design from the architecture. This is especially apparent in our design for the entry stair wall and building identity: LMN designed a curved wall, wpa clad and articulated the wall to integrate building and event identity with the wall's essential design.
wpa's strategy for the interior signage was to design it as pieces of jewelry for a very well dressed body. Because the wall surfaces use such rich materials as gold leaf, magelite (an iridescent fabric) and plaster, we avoided placing signage on these surfaces and instead suspended the wayfinding from the ceiling analogous to a 'pendant' or 'earring'.
The same strategy was used for the extensive donor program. The main donor 'wall' is a series of metal rings clad in white gold leaf placed on five columns in the grand lobby which are attached like 'bracelets' to the columns. This allows the columns to read through as a strong architectural element. The secondary donor wall is a freestanding, iridescent glass wall which stands in front of the building's glass curtain wall and through which one can look out to a garden. The donor wall design allows views into this exterior space. The donor plaques are suspended from the ceiling in the same pendant vocabulary as the wayfinding signage.
We distinguish the wayfinding signage and the donor program with two different shapes and materials. The wayfinding takes the geometric shape of a circle and is made of blackened steel with white gold leaf text. The donor plaques take an organic shape and are enveloped in white gold leaf with black silkscreened text