Chihuly Bridge of Glass

A Gift to Tacoma

The Chihuly Bridge of Glass is a 500 foot pedestrian bridge that crosses a major Tacoma, Washington interstate. The bridge links the Museum of Glass on the shorefront to the downtown area.  Designed by Arthur Andersson of Andersson-Wise Architects and Dale Chihuly, a world-renowned glass sculptor, the bridge features an 80 foot exhibit displaying 109 of Chihuly’s sculptures.   

When the original MEP design was rejected for its cost and for obtruding on the bridge design concept, EEA stepped in to collaborate with the design team, the City of Tacoma, and the Museum of Glass.  We provided an invisible solution to control temperature and humidity in the bridge display cases.

Invisibility is Key

To avoid cluttering the bridge with clunky ductwork, EEA designed a compressed air system to keep the display cases slightly positive with a continuous purge of clean, dry compressed air.  Pressurizing the display case prevents infiltration of dirt, moisture, and other contaminants from harming the sculptures.  The compressed air system is comprised of a single packaged compressor, wet receiver tank, desiccant dryer, dry receiver tank, and air filters.  Small compressed air pipes are routed to each display case, well-hidden in the bridge infrastructure so that only the brightly colored, inspiring sculptures of blown glass catch a pedestrian’s eye.

To learn more about Dale Chihuly and the Bridge of Glass, please visit the Museum of Glass Exhibition site.

Services: MEP Engineering