Chihuly Garden & Glass

Seattle, WA

An eye-catching garden of glass celebrating the works of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly


  • Green roofs and energy-efficient systems
  • Recycled, and locally produced materials
  • Conversion of an acre of asphalt paving into lush gardens
  • Reuse of almost 100% of the existing fun forest exterior walls, roof and floors into the interior exhibition spaces, café, and gift shop
  • 97% of all the waste from the construction of this project was diverted from the landfill, about 250 tons

The Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibition features permanent displays of key works of art by Dale Chihuly over his career. The project was built on the site of the former Fun Forest a small, older amusement park at Seattle Center. The facility features a 12,200 square-foot pavilion with gallery spaces, a cafe, a 50-seat theater, lobby bookstore, and a 4,500-square-foot Glasshouse featuring a suspended sculpture made of 2,000 pieces of red and yellow glass. A view through the Glasshouse art pieces shows the Space Needle hovering above the facility. The garden features additional examples of Chihuly’s worldwide work in large temporary outdoor and garden glassworks.

The Glasshouse is conceived as an indoor-outdoor space that is fully heated and cooled unconventionally, using natural systems to efficiently moderate temperatures while allowing the indoor temperatures to fluctuate along with outdoor conditions. Using high-efficiency boilers and chillers and other energy efficiency strategies, the rest of the building exceeds local energy code requirements. The restrooms feature low-flow fixtures that reduce water use by more than 30% over standard fixtures, saving an estimated 160,000 gallons of water per year in this building alone. The project, certified LEED Silver® in the fall of 2012, features interpretive signage related to green building features and offers green building tours. O’Brien360 was hired to work directly with the

architect to identify additional strategies to qualify for LEED credits and assure LEED compliance. We conducted a design development phase review of LEED status, reviewed the specifications, provided guidance on materials tracking, and reviewed both the design and construction phase submittals. We assisted the owner’s group and development manager in a variety of green operations credits and are designing the green building educational signage and tour program in partnership with the architect.