A Sound Garden

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A Sound Garden
Artist Douglas Hollis
Year 1983
Type Metal
Owner National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

A Sound Garden is one of five public art works on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) campus that lies adjacent to the Warren G. Magnuson Park on the northwestern shore of Lake Washington in Seattle, Washington. The Seattle Arts Commission guided the jury selection headed by Sadao James Hilario, Engineer-in-charge of the GSA Art in Architecture Program for the NOAA Project, and the jury chose five artists from a pool of more than 250.

Designed and built by sculptor Douglas Hollis from 1982–83, A Sound Garden features 12 steel tower structures, inside of which hangs organ pipes of varying lengths that produce low tones when the wind blows around and through them. At the top of the towers, horizontal steel vanes catch the wind and rotate the pipes.

Because of its location overlooking Lake Washington, its visual and kinetic qualities, and the fact that the Seattle-based rock band Soundgarden took their name from this art work,[1][2] the installation attracts many visitors.

A Sound Garden and the other artworks on NOAA's campus are open to the public, but access has been monitored and restricted since the September 11, 2001 attacks. Visitors must enter at NOAA's main access road at 7600 Sand Point Way and stop at the security guard station for an approved pass, for which a photo ID (such as a student ID, state driver's license, etc.) is required. The NOAA campus is open on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; entry is permitted until 3:30 p.m.

Hollis's other projects include "Field of Vision", a grove of 950 wind vanes designed for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York; "Mountain Mirage" at the Denver International Airport in Colorado, a fountain of over 3,000 water spouts that creates a topographical representation of the Rocky Mountains (1999); and a 4,000-foot water and stone installation for the San José Civic Center in California (2005).


  1. ^ "Soundgarden: Biography". VH1. Archived from the original on 12 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  2. ^ Justin Nicholls. "Unofficial Soundgarden Homepage: Band History". Archived from the original on 16 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-20. 

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Coordinates: 47°41′07.18″N 122°14′59.47″W / 47.6853278°N 122.2498528°W / 47.6853278; -122.2498528