A 24,000 sq ft pediatric nephrology department on two floors of a large hospital complex, is designed to be a warm, inviting space with positive distractions of animals in nature. The artists were commissioned to provide featured elements within the overall design. The space includes waiting areas, corridors, individual patient rooms and a large common dialysis center. Nephrology patients return to the center often, for treatments that can last for hours at a time, so they must be provided with an environment that rewards repeated engagement.
The dialysis center features seventeen separate stations, each with its own designated animal and habitat, corresponding to an alphabetic signage system, starting with A for “Armadillo.” As a rebuild into an existing space, no two stations had the same in layout and dimensions. Each had unique features that needed to be accommodated. The artists provided vector drawings of a habitat for each animal, integrated with the overall palette and finish specifications. The wall of each station was adorned with an animal painted by the artists and carved out of MDF, creating a dimensional visual highlight for the station.
The artists also produced murals on multiple walls in several common areas. The artists’ images were printed on durable wall covering from floor to ceiling. Because of the artists’ attention to detail and the reproduction process, the mural images retain the look of their original medium: layered painted paper collage. Their medium and style set the standard for the carved animals and other graphic designs. The artists incorporated surprising and intricate detail in the mural, to reward multiple engagements. The animal subjects and habitats provided casual opportunities for patients to learn fun facts about biology and ecology around the world.
The project required a tremendous effort in coordination between the artist and the architect. The consultants on the project handled logistical issues, prioritizing the artists’ efforts in response on building timelines, equipment installation schedules, printing production times for the wall covering, and the approvals process for the many elements and details. The consultant also helped the architect, client, and artists understand one another’s drawings, documents, and concepts each step of the way. The artists submitted regular sketches for approval, accepting revision requests on occasion. The architect provided detailed drawings so that the size and scale of the space could be understood by the artist.
The artists were also asked integrate their work with a great many other design elements in the space: installations of animal photography – hung on the wall, printed on illuminated lenses overhead, and applied to window film – graphic designs along corridors, structural columns that were made to resemble trees, and even flooring designed to represent bodies of water like creeks and ponds.
The result was a cohesive environment that identifies the nephrology department as a unique place within the hospital system, with visual interest and surprising details that reward repeated engagement.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
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.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
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.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
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.