Architecture firm Brooks + Scarpa just completed construction on the new Angle Lake Transit Station and Plaza at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The building’s design was inspired by dance, and the architects wrapped the structure an undulating transparent envelope that mimics the motion of the human body.

Angle Lake Transit Station and Plaza, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Brooks + Scarpa, William Forsythe, airport, undulating façade, aluminium facade, aluminium, transparent façade, green architecture

The team drew inspiration from an improvisational dance piece by famous contemporary dance choreographer William Forsythe. In it, dancers connect their bodies by matching lines in space that could be bent, tossed or otherwise distorted. Thanks to the use of ruled surface geometry and straight aluminum elements, the architects were able to achieve complex curved forms that look like a long-exposure portrait of a dancer.

Angle Lake Transit Station and Plaza, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Brooks + Scarpa, William Forsythe, airport, undulating façade, aluminium facade, aluminium, transparent façade, green architecture

Related: Brooks + Scarpa completes forest-like kinetic sculpture ringed with rain gardens

The seven-acre 400,000 square foot mixed-use complex features a seven-story cast-in-place and post-tensioned concrete structure. Its exterior façade is composed of over 7,500 custom-formed blue anodized aluminum panels.

Angle Lake Transit Station and Plaza, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Brooks + Scarpa, William Forsythe, airport, undulating façade, aluminium facade, aluminium, transparent façade, green architecture
Photo by Benjamin Benschneider
Angle Lake Transit Station and Plaza, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Brooks + Scarpa, William Forsythe, airport, undulating façade, aluminium facade, aluminium, transparent façade, green architecture
Photo by Benjamin Benschneider

Brooks + Scarpa segmented each element into standardized sizes for the most efficient structural shape and material form, while maximizing production, fabrication and installation cost efficiency. This made it possible to install the façade on-site in less than three weeks without the use of cranes or special equipment.

+ Brooks + Scarpa

Lead photo by Benjamin Benschneider

Angle Lake Transit Station and Plaza, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Brooks + Scarpa, William Forsythe, airport, undulating façade, aluminium facade, aluminium, transparent façade, green architecture
Photo by Benjamin Benschneider

Angle Lake Transit Station and Plaza, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Brooks + Scarpa, William Forsythe, airport, undulating façade, aluminium facade, aluminium, transparent façade, green architecture

Angle Lake Transit Station and Plaza, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Brooks + Scarpa, William Forsythe, airport, undulating façade, aluminium facade, aluminium, transparent façade, green architecture

Angle Lake Transit Station and Plaza, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Brooks + Scarpa, William Forsythe, airport, undulating façade, aluminium facade, aluminium, transparent façade, green architecture