Carbon Veil - Buster Simpson

Where is it?

Sea-Tac Rental Car Facility

Carbon Veil shrouds the parking helices at the RCF.

About the Art

Layered stainless steel mesh cloaks two cylindrical shapes that house the helical ramps leading into and out from the parking garage. Deriving their structure from the hexagon shape, the ramp and the mesh resemble the symbol of carbon by happenstance.

The twisted mesh, used here in three layers, provides a reference to roadway vernacular as the material is often seen in gabion applications and rockfall stabilization. Fifty-five programmed LED fixtures per parking helix cast light projections on the mesh, creating illuminating events that range from colorfully rousing vignettes to indications of atmospheric and weather conditions.

Information courtesy of Buster Simpson

The Details


Buster Simpson




Sculptural veil (stainless steel wire mesh, LED lighting)


Two helices, each are 63' high x 99' in diameter

Did you know?

The lighting installation was checked over at night so that the artist could envision accurately the completed look of Carbon Veil.

  • <p>© Buster Simpson</p>
  • <p>© Buster Simpson</p>
  • <p>© Buster Simpson</p>
  • <p>© Buster Simpson</p>
  • <p>© Buster Simpson</p>
  • <p>© Buster Simpson</p>
  • <p>© Buster Simpson</p>
  • <p>© Buster Simpson</p>
  • <p>© Buster Simpson</p>

About the Artist

A pioneer of “environmental art,” Buster Simpson’s works are deeply rooted in place and time, using the public realm itself – its history, ecology, infrastructure, and utilities – to create poetic gestures that provoke imagination.

“As a provocateur, trickster, and healer, the artist can stimulate thinking as well as present a visually legible image with a disarming, poignant viewpoint.” – Buster Simpson

Short Bio

Simpson received both his B.A. and his M.F.A. in sculpture from the University of Michigan. He received a Distinguished Alumni Award in Architecture and Design from his alma mater in 2000, an honor recognizing his countless accomplishments working on infrastructure projects, museum and public commissions, master planning, and sculpture. Simpson’s installations have been shown at the Seattle Art Museum, the Hirshhorn, and the International Glass Museum.

See More

  • ecoartspace video archive: Buster Simpson Interview

Similar Artwork

Work by Buster Simpson

- Bio Boulevard & Water Molecule: a functional reclaimed water-transporting piece commissioned for the Brightwater Treatment System.

- Seattle George Monument: a piece Simpson describes as a "poetic attempt to consolidate concerns of assertion and assimilation" at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

- Beckoning Cistern: an environmental nod to the gesture seen in Michelangelo's Creation of Adam catches water off the 81 Vine Street building on rainy days.

- First Avenue Project: a collaborative art plan for the Belltown area that features Simpson's benches and tree guards.

To see more of Simpson's work in the Seattle area, please visit Connected Stories below.

Carbon Veil - Buster Simpson

Simpson's reflective stainless steel veil is responsive to changing natural light conditions and evening illumination events.