Client: Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford
Location: Palo Alto, CA, United States
Completion date: 2017
Sherri Warner Hunter
SWH Art Studio Inc.
Perkins + Will, New York
AECOM, San Francisco
This children’s play area is one of two artist-designed active areas for children as part of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital’s 2018 expansion. Aesthetics, Inc. was hired as the art consultant for this project and artist, Sherri Warner Hunter, designed, fabricated and helped install the 13 mosaic sculptures and oval rubber play surface.
The sculptures depict charming ocean creatures native to the California coast along imaginary island shores of a blue “sea” of rubber play surfacing. The design extends an internal art and wayfinding theme of the hospital ground floor, “The Rocky Shore”.
The intention of the project was to create a unique play area for siblings of families while visiting their child in the hospital. It was to be one of the visual features of the “Emerald Garden” facing the main lobby, a welcoming, engaging and magical place for children. Seating areas allow parents to watch their preoccupied children and also provide an opportunity for them to have private discussions, regarding their hospitalized child.
Sherri was selected by the hospital’s art committee from a number of artist candidates introduced by Aesthetics. As the design progressed, the artist created drawings and scaled models for review. She also worked with children in the hospital to create drawings that she later turned into tiles cladding the roof and walls of a play tunnel.
As art consultants, Aesthetics acted as liaison between artist, owner and architectural team, helping guide the artist’s design conformance with playground safety codes and coordination with architectural, structural, landscape and civil engineering issues.
Once concept design was completed, detailed digital drawings were created by Aesthetics to integrate into the architectural team’s construction drawings of the garden.
The play area features a walrus slide, a group of three sea otters, a giant starfish, three rocking shrimp, a sea lion, harbor seal, a pelican bench and two additional sculptural chairs.