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Axis Lounge

By Laura Haddad & Tom Drugan

Axis Lounge, located in the northwest corner of the Climate Pledge Arena plaza and visible from 1st Avenue N., is conceived as a microcosm of the arena environment. Offering immersive visual, aural, interactive and collective experiences, this place-based artwork, with its sculptural and tactile forms, creates an iconic backdrop for plaza gatherings and performances. Axis Lounge has an inviting and energetic atmosphere that encourages people to come together, converse, and relax. The elements of the multi-media installation juxtapose vibrant and varied colors, textures and forms to depict a metaphoric overlay of sports and music. Individual components loosely express colors and emotions as described in Seattle musician Jimi Hendrix’s seminal song, “Bold as Love.” Axis Lounge’s light colors vary from night-to-night and moment-to-moment, depending on both arena happenings and civic events. This art space is a place to convene with friends before or after an arena event, or enjoy alone on a sunny afternoon.


Arena Projects: Axis Lounge and North Light; also authored New Arena at Seattle Center Public Art Plan” and currently acting as art consultant to the Arena redevelopment project

Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan’s collaboration as an artist team began in 2001 when they converted a 1959 Pontiac Starchief into a living “garden car” and installed it in the median of Los Angeles’s Santa Monica Boulevard. Since then, they have completed dozens of public art commissions and art plans. Their Seattle-based studio, Haddad|Drugan, operates at intersections of art, architecture, landscape, and theater and specializes in creating large-scale, site-specific art that is conceptually and functionally integrated into civic places. 

The artists are inspired by the particular qualities of nature and culture that occur at a site and conceive unique artworks that reveal a place’s systems and stories through poetic, sensory experiences that capture the imagination while leaving space for open-ended interpretations. Explorations of magic, wonder, luminosity and curiosity define their work. In particular, Haddad|Drugan is known for combining iconic forms with “activations” by sunlight and color-changing LED light. Past and current work includes sculptures and murals for plazas and parks, waterfront promenades, transportation projects, overpasses, storm water utilities, industrial facades, museums and libraries. Working on the Climate Pledge Arena is a dream project that has allowed them to combine their interest in history, storytelling, theater, community and placemaking.

Laura Haddad grew up in New England and has lived in Seattle for over 25 years. She has a Master’s degree in landscape architecture from University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor’s degree in history from Bowdoin College. Laura has worked as a jewelry designer, stage set designer, sailmaker, landscape architect and bookseller, in addition to public artist. She recently completed a 4-year term as a member of the Seattle Design Commission and Seattle Public Art Advisory Committee.

Tom Drugan lived in many places during his childhood with a father who served in the Air Force but has been living in Seattle since the 1990s. He received a Master’s degree in landscape architecture from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Colorado. Tom worked in urban design, architecture, and filmmaking prior to his career in public art.

Laura and Tom have taught at the Rhode Island School of Design and University of Washington and lectured in venues across the country. They live together in Seattle’s Mount Baker neighborhood with their 17-year old daughter.


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