The Gateway - Norie Sato

Where is it?

Port of Seattle Police Department Lobby

Sato's piece is located on the third floor of the Main Terminal.

About the Art

Images of origami boats, paper airplanes, and other elements associated with the Port of Seattle’s airport, marinas, and rail yards are cast within a blue terrazzo field. The column connects the ceiling element that catches and refracts light from the clerestory to the terrazzo pattern. Instructions to create the paper airplanes and origami shown in the floor wrap around the column, responding to the interests of children. An abstracted police badge is the focal point of the terrazzo and ties together the elements of Sato’s composition.

The Details


Norie Sato




Mixed-media interior (terrazzo floor, hanging glass shapes, etched steel column cover)

Did you know?

Sato is no stranger to creating integrated design work. Working with Sound Transit as a system artist for the Central Link light rail line, Sato, as she did with The Gateway, created multiple pieces conveying one underlying message.

  • <p>© Norie Sato</p>
  • <p>© Norie Sato</p>
  • <p>© Norie Sato</p>
  • <p>© Norie Sato</p>
  • <p>© Norie Sato</p>

About the Artist

The completed appearance of Seattle-based artist Norie Sato’s public commissions depends on the site and context of the artwork. By encouraging interactions between the public and the built environment, Sato strives to consider all aspects, “edges, transitions, and connections,” in equal relation to the center to create balanced and charming pieces.

"The spaces where one works inspire, limit, or allow the type and scale of work we do. The spaces affect how we conceptualize, imagine, invent, and make." – Norie Sato

Short Bio

Since the formation of the Seattle Arts Commission, Sato has been involved in many aspects of public art including teaching, planning, consulting, and advocating. Her projects are located around the country including the San Diego International Airport, the San Francisco International Airport, the Arabian Library and the McDowell Mountain Ranch Aquatic Center (both in Scottsdale, Arizona), Seattle’s Central Link light rail line, and many others.

Similar Artwork

Work by Norie Sato

Sato's piece at the Operations Building at the Atlantic/Central Bus Base titled 'Round and 'Round displays the complementary qualities of the interior and exterior aesthetics of the building.

At the Airport

Sato's Wings of Transition represents the freedom allowed by air travel. Visit this piece at the end of Concourse B, and notice how Norie Sato incorporates the function of the building into the concept and design of her artwork.

The Gateway - Norie Sato

In designing and fabricating this piece, Norie Sato emphasized the idea of the Port of Seattle being a protected and celebrated way of passage.