The ShoWare Center shines in all the right places.
Take a moment to reflect on the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash. Polished stainless steel soffits add to the activity by mirroring what's happening on the street and in the concourse. LMN Architects of Seattle tried to find the optimum angle so the view above changes as spectators approach and enter the arena. Playing with the mirror effect, the designers specified six-inch illuminated letters laid horizontally over the entrance - yes, the name of the facility that you see on the stainless steel is actually an illusion, the letters reflected from their face-down position onto the soffit, where they appear right-side up. Other graphics on the building front, announcing a retail store, ticket windows and the suite-holders' entrance, are given the same treatment but without the illumination, making them less prominent than the main entrance. This, when coupled with "energy lines" on the plaza (painted green and enhanced with inset LED lighting bands), sheds new light on the concept of wayfinding.