Client: Eskenazai Hospital
Location: Indianapolis, IN, United States
Completion date: 2014
Artwork budget: $830,000
Rob Ley Studio
Fink Roberts & Petrie, Inc.
This proposal began with an interest in challenging the typical notion of the parking garage as an unappreciated infrastructural typology by transforming the New Eskenazi Hospital parking structure into a sculpted, synthetic landscape. Just as the leaves of a tree define its volume and shape, this piece relies on approximately 7,000 multi-colored aluminum panels (12,500 s.f.) to define a soft, undulating volume on the south side of the structure. As in nature, the volume and shade offered by the piece shies away from harsh, geometric patterning – instead tending towards a gentle, dappled variability in form.
The effect of a field of 7,000 angled metal leaves in conjunction with an articulated east/west color strategy will create a dynamic façade system that offers observers a different visual experience depending on their vantage point and the pace at which they are moving through the site. In this way, pedestrians and slow moving vehicles within close proximity to the hospital will experience a noticeable, dappled shift in color and transparency as they move across the hospital grounds, while motorists driving along W. Michigan Street will experience a faster, gradient color shift which changes depending on their direction of travel.
As this is a large, tightly integrated art piece, coordination with the entire hospital construction team was important over the year and a half time period that the project spanned. My studio was commissioned after the parking structure had been completed, so it was necessary for the art to consider existing structural conditions during the initial inception of the piece. As well, many technical considerations had to be engaged, such as maintaining ventilation requirements of the parking structure, total project weight, and an ability to resistant as much as 90mph winds. In addition to weekly meetings and discussions with the project architects and contractors, my studio worked tightly with structural engineers in both Los Angeles and Indianapolis and developed a strong working relationship with a locale fabricator who built and installed this large piece.