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'Sky River Trees', Hands on Children's Museum, Olympia, WA

Silver Award
The Hands On Children’s Museum new facility in Olympia, WA incorporates a community’s long-term environmental educational vision for children and families from pre-school through 12 years old. “Sky River Trees” reflects the original Squaxin Island Tribe (People of the Water) and their reverence for the natural surroundings of this area. The 6 ea at 30’ tall aluminum and colored translucent eco-resin bubbles and waves, are situated at the front of the new museum and the parking garden entry. During the day the light refraction from the sun reflects the many colored ‘bubbles & waves’ from the tree-like river sculptures onto the existing plaza surface walkway to engage the young people while playing and entering the museum. During the night the groupings glow from in-ground white LED lights (set to a cool blue tone), which were programmed to shine up through the ‘river’ branches at both of the locations giving a glowing visual reference for the community and museum plaza. The community feels that the visual references and educational context theme for ‘Sky River Trees’ visually allow the sculpture to hold up the ‘river to the sky as an offering of their natural gifts to the community’.


Recycled SteelLED in-groung up lighting40% Recycled PETG translucent resin substrate


$85,000.00 including design, engineering, materials, shipping, installation


This project defined the large exterior plaza and the back parking lot as part of the Children's Museum culture. The shadowing of the 'bubbles' & 'waves' allowed the children to experience the art and an organic movable experience during the day. The height of the trees and the night lighting added the project as an icon gateway for the community.

PO Box 9446
Seattle WA 98109
United States
(206) 448-1003
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