I was asked to do something that would appeal to both children and their parents, something worthy of the building’s iconic architecture.
The original drawings had fewer glass panels that were also much smaller. The client realized early in the design process that the scale of the project needed to be increased to get the impact they were seeking. Huge cloth banners of different proportions were made and hung from the balcony during construction to find the right scale and “fit” of the art within the space. After a substantial redesign of the entire lobby wall I began designing.
I took several elements from the architectural geometries and finishes to inform the glass design. The gentle arcs of the building, the spectacular spiral staircase, the millwork and terrazzo were the building blocks of the composition to which I added elements that responded to the psychology of the building’s users. The result is a design that is life-affirming, elegant and playful. It merges fine art and architectural ornament.
Art glass must have proper lighting to be successful, and this presented a major challenge both technically and artistically. It needed to be lit from behind evenly without shadows, with enough light for the glass to pop against the enormous amount of natural daylight hitting it from the nearby exterior curtain wall. This necessitated designing a 50’ x 20’ lightbox with no shadows and a mullionless “stacked” installation of the art glass panels. It was a clever solution devised by HKS and The Lighting Practice of Philadelphia. It also required carefully coordinating the glass and color selection with the color rendering index and temperature of the lighting being used.
Besides making a stunning work of art, collaborating with a lot of smart, dedicated people who trusted one another was the most satisfying thing about this project. The architects, construction side, and especially Mike Warren, the hospital CEO, all contributed their expertise to the success of the project.
It was Fun. This was a dream project: compelling architecture, enough money, and highly competent people who find the most beautiful solution. How often does that happen?
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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.