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Burien Transit Center


Burien, Washington

Designed by Via Architecture, the King County Metro Transit Center in Burien, Washington was completed in 2009. King County Program Artist Julie Berger composed a group of elements titled "Forest Illumination”. The art component of the project consisted of a site specific sculpture to be and graphics applied to glass ceiling and wall panels. 
Berger’s vision for the graphics applied to the overhead panes was to recreate a sense of walking through forest for commuters at the transit center. In the forest, the light is dappled. Moving through the forest beneath branches and needles creates a stochastic strobing experience. "Berger wished to introduce the experience of nature to this urban site, and conceived the glass frit design for the transit center's canopy and bus screen panels as dappled light filtering through the forest foliage". (source)

Julie hired me as graphic designer. We collaborated on the creation of graphics applied to the glass panels installed in the structures. 


We began with Julie Berger’s drawings hand drawings, using her shapes as a general structure. We populated the shapes with raster images of northwest forest flora. Below is a raster file image in process.

Bus_screen med horiz.jpg

Images were halftoned carefully in order to accommodate the particle size of ceramic frit but retain legibility.  This required a low halftone frequency - 12 lpi.  Frit is viscous stuff.

The glass was printed in a facility with the capacity to silkscreen frit on a scale large enough for the glass panels. The ceramic frit was then fused onto the surface of the glass during the toughening or heat-strengthening process, creating a permanent bond to the glass surface.
Three variations on this theme were designed for each application and format. One set of repeating and rotating designs were applied to overhead glass panes of the central shelter structure. A separately formatted design was applied to glass panes mounted vertically in the smaller peripheral bus shelter structures.
The Transit center opened to the public May 30, 2009.
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