At Seattle Children’s Research Institute (SCRI), hundreds of world-class scientists and researchers are investigating new treatments and seeking cures for childhood diseases. Yet the public is mostly unaware of their presence in downtown Seattle. For years, SCRI has tried to increase the visibility of their building’s storefront, which spans more than half a block. SCRI has employed traditional solutions such as posters and window graphics, but despite these attempts, the streetscape remained dark and lifeless. A different approach was needed.
While the client, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, wanted visibility for its facility, NBBJ’s Studio 07 design team saw a bigger opportunity: the potential to invigorate a city block for the surrounding community and passersby. Taking inspiration from a history of unique neon signs throughout the city, the NBBJ team designed a series of traditional, artisan-crafted neon signs featuring slogans that reflect the institute’s advanced investigations and the breakthroughs taking place there.
Installed in the storefront windows, the signs not only heighten the public’s awareness of Seattle Children’s Research Institute, but also inject the formerly lackluster stretch of urban landscape with a luminous, artistic intervention. Each window features a single neon sign, dramatically presented with an aspirational or inspirational phrase to reflect the SCRI mission. The display becomes engaging street art, experienced by everyone in the neighborhood, while fostering organizational pride for the institute’s employees and stakeholders.
NBBJ also designed neon signs for other SCRI downtown locations to make a visual connection among the facilities and add levity and energy to otherwise quiet corporate environments. NBBJ and the client also planned for the future of the signs. Designed as UL-listed, plug-in light fixtures, once they live out their useful lives at the SCRI offices, they can be auctioned to raise funds for the institute.
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Eric LeVine (principal in charge); Robert Murray (lead designer); Elliott Rupe, Amanda Seever (designers)
NBBJ Studio 07
150 lineal feet
Copacino + Fujikado (advertising agency)
Tube Art Group