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Eight-story banner helps Seattle sizzle

Projects | February 1, 2019 | By:

The Shepard Fairey Banner on the 9th & Thomas building is a beacon for the vibrant and diverse South Lake Union neighborhood in Seattle. Photos: Rainier Industries.

The new mixed-use building 9th & Thomas, located in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, takes a fresh approach to commercial space with floor-to-ceiling glass, gardens, integrated outdoor decks and a welcoming lobby that serves as a community living room.

Developed by the Redman family, whose Sellen Construction Company occupied the site for 70 years, the 12-story building is meant to be the center of community and activity in the neighborhood. Designed by Olson Kindig Architects, it features office, retail and residential space.

The design includes an area on the building’s exterior where artwork can be displayed. The inaugural piece was a spectacular banner featuring artwork by street artist Shepard Fairey, creator of the iconic Barak Obama “Hope” poster and founder of the Obey art and clothing line.

Costigan Integrated, the 9th & Thomas property management company, enlisted fabric architecture fabricator Rainier Industrial Art to create the banner. Because of its enormous size, 36.8 feet by 112.6 feet, the first order of business was to make sure the hanging structure on the building would support the display. Required eyelets and structural blocking were detailed out to ensure it could be hung safely.

Rainier used a mesh fabric to create the banner and printed it in sections. It was pieced together using 10 horizontal seams. A high-access rappelling team installed the banner, unfurling it without much notice. Once the banner was up, the dramatic, richly hued design was a natural draw to the building. For more information, visit

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