Inova Fairfax Hospital

Submitted by Distinctive Art Source

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Client: Inova Health

Location: Falls Church, VA, United States

Completion date: 2013

Artwork budget: $50,000

Overview

DAS collaborated with artist Kenneth vonRoenn Jr. to design a memorable sculpture that complements both the design and transparency of the rotunda Inova Fairfax Hospital while also creating a unique identity for the new South Patient Tower. The 16’h x 7’w dichroic glass sculpture visually floats in the space while continually reflecting and refracting light. As the sun moves and the light changes from day to night, saturated color shadows splash the rotunda walls extending the effect of the ever changing meditative rings. Light play provides elements of continual discovery and mesmerizing views from multiple angles and levels.

Goals

Everywhere you look in Inova Fairfax Hospital’s new main entrance, there is a sense of calm, serenity and meditation. Integrating a monumental sculpture into the transparent circular rotunda design was the overriding goal in the art commissioning process of this piece followed closely by the need to create a specific identity for the new tower on a campus with multiple existing buildings. Inova Health System is known as an innovative leader in the field of healthcare, making it necessary to create an art solution for the South Patient Tower that was innovative and technologically forward.
Wilmont Sanz designed a welcoming rotunda filled with natural light. The way to best complement this space with its transparent qualities was to commission the creation of a piece of artwork that would appear almost weightless in the space while filling the three-story volume and with its multiple level 360 degree viewing angle.
The new tower offers a contemporary design that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also designed to promote and instill wellness. Everything from the artwork to the finishes were carefully selected to bring nature indoors and help patients get back to health and life.

Process

Collaborating with artist Kenneth vonRoenn to create a floating dichroic glass sculpture was a great adventure. DAS began the process by sharing the some of the artist's existing dichroic glass work with Inova's art committee and emphasizing how his style, the transparency, scale and materials he worked with all complemented the architectural and design details of the rotunda entrance.
Once selected as artist of choice, DAS worked directly with Kenneth vonRoenn at Architectural Glass Art to understand the site through photographs, architectural plans, elevations and sections. As the sculpture was to hang above a water feature DAS worked with the artist to create a "bottomless" sculpture design that would draw the eye upward while at the same time act as a funnel to pull the color of the sky vertically through the rotunda. Kenneth created sketches and finally a 3-D model of his proposed sculpture. It was only through the model that the art committee understood the full potential of dichroic glass to create an ever changing meditative sculpture.