This suspended and illuminated sculpture was inspired by the imagery of the cherry blossoms, which are an icon in this region of New Jersey. It is designed to evoke a sense of beauty and the renewal of spring, symbolic of healing and hope, which is the central theme for the new hospital building: Hope Tower.
The large lobby space can be seen from many directions: from outside the main entrance through a window wall, from beneath within the lobby, and from a second floor balcony waiting area. It can also be viewed from a two-story throughway that connects to the garage and is visible from each side through window walls.
The sculpture helps define these common spaces through nature and light, creating landmarks that help to orient visitors and staff and to establish a visual identity for the entire hospital.
The elements of the sculpture were designed based on the theme of hope and the client's interest in highlighting the region's iconic cherry trees. They are made of fabricated aluminum in the shape of cherry tree branches in bloom, suspended with cables from artfully designed structures called “cloud forms.” The blossoms are fashioned in powder coated, perforated aluminum and have computer-controlled LED lights that create a dynamic component, washing the canopy with an ever-changing array of colors.
The artist, Zachary Oxman, developed computer renderings and animations for a preliminary design concept. A second design phase produced full-size components and materials samples, LED light display and a VR experience to convey the actual scale and human experience in the environment. He worked with the architectural and engineering team to adjust the design to most effectively and efficiently meet the engineering requirements. He fabricated structures from which to hang the sculptures by cables, which he calls “cloud forms.” They add a visual narrative to complement the sculptures while meeting engineering requirements for connection points, which were predetermined in a CAD program.
The artist completed three separate sculptures, each approximately 34’ long and 10' wide.
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