Nephrology at Children’s Health

Submitted by Skyline Art

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Client: Children's Health

Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Completion date: 2015

Project Team

Art Consultant

Melanie Schlossberg

Skyline Art Services

Art Consultant

Jodi Fernandez

Skyline Art Services

Art Consultant

Louise Nicholson Carter

Skyline Art Services

Artist

Laura Bender

Site Painters

Interior Designer

Corrine Kipp

HKS

Overview

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.

Goals

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.

Process

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.