Harborview Medical Center
Steel textile patterns dress the Patricia Steel Building with intricate detail.
Woven with custom-made stainless steel yarn, Comfort Zone lends meticulous architectural detail to the exterior of Harborview Medical Center’s Patricia Steel Building. Classic textile patterns—such as Brooks Bouquet, Spanish Lace, and Danish Medallion—appear in five 12-foot by 28-foot arched panels along Broadway. On Boren Avenue, a 30-foot by 30-foot crocheted piece hangs above the building’s entryway.A skilled team of weavers—Peggy Bridgman, Sidney Dodge, Debra Lacey, Katharine Lewis, and Patricia McDonald—worked with Sheila Klein to create each of the works by hand. They used traditional frame looms that were reinvented to accommodate the heft of the steel fibers, made by the Belgium-based corporation BEKEART. The team also modified the looms’ shuttles to manage the warp and weft of the weighty yarn, adapting their techniques to suit the material.
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Every inch was touched by someone who really cares. – Sheila Klein
Comfort Zone draws its inspiration from the Art Deco ornamentation found on Harborview’s original 1930s buildings as well as the wooden fretwork trim common to older porches and homes in the area. The six-part artwork is rooted in the soothing comfort of handmade objects, like curtains, blankets, shawls, and other domestic textiles.
A former architect, Shiela Klein often works at the intersection of art and architecture. Based in Bow, WA, she has been involved in public art since 1977 and her work has been exhibited and commissioned throughout the United States as well as in Italy and Japan. Klein has said she “wants to dress the world.”
About the Location
Harborview Medical Center For more than a century, Harborview Medical Center has functioned as a unique community and regional resource. It is a county hospital, a teaching and research institution, a regional trauma and burn center, and the primary health care provider for many low-income and disenfranchised people in the community. Harborview embraces its mission of treating everybody,…
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