HADDAD | DRUGAN

Fremont Peak Park

Seattle, Washington 2007

Fremont Peak Park was created as a collaboration between Haddad|Drugan (lead artists), GGLO (lead landscape architects), Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, and the Friends of Fremont Peak Park. 

The half-acre site of Fremont Peak Park is on a hillside north of Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. From the street entry one moves through a mature stand of evergreen trees to arrive at a promontory with sweeping views of Puget Sound.

The park captures the spirit of Fremont, integrating  the Greek myth of Theseus with cosmological events as visitors travel through a preserved woodland to a panoramic view of Puget Sound.  Native plants, artifacts, integrated art, and trails are part of this unique destination where art and landscape work together to seamlessly convey metaphoric meaning through functional, natural, and sculptural means.

The art is experienced on a spatial level, and is built around an overlay of two concepts:  one mythological, the other cosmological.  The mythological element stems from the idea of mapping a ritualistic path out to the view.  It is based on the Greek myth in which Ariadne gave Theseus the end of a spool of thread that he unwound as he made his way through the labyrinth to slay the Minotaur.   In this park the labyrinth is represented by concrete walls.  Ariadne’s silver thread begins as a spool at the entry, then moves into the sidewalk paving, picks up again along a path through the woods, and terminates in a Y embedded in the view terrace, with legs pointing to locations of the sunset at the winter and summer solstices. 

The cosmological aspect of the park ties into the myth, and is also a link to Fremont’s self-proclaimed identity as the “Center of the Universe."  The solstice lines at the view terrace and moon paving at the entrance reference solar and lunar cycles.  There are two locations where pipes in the patterns of constellations are embedded in walls, and the seating boulders in the view terrace are in the pattern of the constellation Corona Borealis, or Ariadne’s crown.

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