Browse Public Art

Rainforest Gates

Jean Whitesavage & Nick Lyle

King Street Center

A hand-forged steel curtain wall celebrates nature in the Pacific Northwest.

Jean Whitesavage and Nick Lyle. Rainforest Gates, 1999. Hand-forged and painted steel. King Street Center, Seattle, WA. King County Public Art Collection. Photo: joefreemanjunior.com

Detailed ironwork adorns King Street Center’s public entrance, where massive curved gates and surrounding panels form a curtain wall. Created by artist team Jean Whitesavage and Nick Lyle, Rainforest Gates features sculpted imagery of Pacific Northwest plants and birds, joining together hundreds of pieces of forged steel. These natural elements celebrate the region’s intricate and beautiful ecosystem in all its glory.

The artwork includes two sets of bi-fold side gates, two large brackets, and an architectural eyebrow on the eighth floor. The brackets connect the curtain wall to the building’s super mullion structure, topped with a decorative band of deer fern. At the building’s cornice, the open steel frame is inset with forged alder leaves. The artists call their building parts “visual poetry” because, rather than merely imitating nature, they speak the language of living things through the medium of steel.
Continue Reading ›
Jean Whitesavage and Nick Lyle. Rainforest Gates, 1999. Hand-forged and painted steel. King Street Center, Seattle, WA. King County Public Art Collection. Photo: joefreemanjunior.com
Jean Whitesavage and Nick Lyle. Rainforest Gates (detail), 1999. Hand-forged and painted steel. King Street Center, Seattle, WA. King County Public Art Collection. Photo: joefreemanjunior.com
Jean Whitesavage and Nick Lyle. Rainforest Gates (detail), 1999. Hand-forged and painted steel. King Street Center, Seattle, WA. King County Public Art Collection. Photo: joefreemanjunior.com

About the Location

King Street Center

The streets of Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square neighborhood are lined with brick and stone buildings that date back to the late 19th century, after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 burned nearly all of the wooden structures settlers had constructed since their arrival in the early 1850s. Featuring architectural details of the era’s Romanesque Revival,…

Read more about the art and artists at King Street Center. More >