Since 1960, the Saint Francis Health System has been Northeast Oklahoma’s most prominent and comprehensive healthcare provider. In the decades since its opening, the organization has continued to provide all who enter their doors with exceptional care as part of the organization’s faith-based ministry. A new cutting-edge Trauma Emergency Center, 150 Patient Bed Tower and Entry Lobby are the most recent additions to the system’s dense main campus. The project also includes a replacement Chapel - planned to be “front-and-center” on the campus, following Facility leadership’s mandate of promoting Saint Francis’ Catholic Mission.
A primary goal of the project was that both the architecture and interior design strengthen the Hospital’s primary Catholic Mission, “To extend the presence and healing ministry of Christ in all we do”. The idea of commissioned artwork was discussed from the very first design meetings. A multi-disciplinary committee was established early-on to ensure that the artwork felt, not applied to the building, but deeply rooted within it. Upon entering the Hospital’s new classically designed light-filled Lobby, a large-scale portrait of Saint Francis Xavier greets visitors on dramatic axis with a water feature “runnel” leading to an exterior bronze sculpture of Christ. Looking upwards, an installation of over 100 multi-colored suspended glass plates draws visitors further in, while new Chapel, placed quietly off to one side, offers the story of the hospital’s namesake and his mission in stained glass.
The Art Committee met quarterly throughout the project’s two year construction, working hand-in-hand with each artist every stage of their own design process. Along with strong hospital leadership and in keeping with the goal that the artwork feel integral to the architecture, the process followed the same phases of architectural design – from schematics through construction administration.
Classically proportioned with materials that reference both past and future, the project’s design is meant to express hospitality and a firm faith in the future. Clerestory windows fill the interior with serene, diffuse light. The use of time-honored terrazzo, limestone and marble, combined with zebrawood and glass, create a timeless palette.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
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Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
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Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
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The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.