Client: Hennepin Healthcare
Location: Minneapolis, MN, United States
Completion date: 2018
Peters Glass Studio
Shawn Trentlage and Darcy Farrill
Hennepin County Medical Center
Accent Arts Frames and Display
Dorsey Hovde Art Design
This 384,000-square-foot, seven-floor outpatient Clinic & Specialty Center, located in the urban center of Minneapolis, serves both the diverse demographic currently living in the city and those moving back into downtown's redevelopment. The challenge was how to create meaningful healing spaces for all. DHA was contracted to create an architecturally-integrated art collection that would resonate with such a wide range of individual experiences and needs. We developed a theme for the collection, The Art of Life, emphasizing the vitality and beauty of life's diversity and interconnectedness. The collection includes over 700 works of art.
The primary goal for the healing art collection, whether considering the experiential or evidence-based research, was to counter negative emotions and offer inspiration to positively affect healing and wellness. For the signature work of art, or heart of the building, we commissioned international glass artist Martin Donlin and local naturalist poet Laurie Allmann to inspire each other, creating respectively a 4-story monumental art glass and a poem, both emphasizing the theme The Art of Life. In other artwork, we sought diverse expressions of personal thoughts, collective history and experiences, culture and core values. We wanted the art to validate who we are as individuals, as a community, as humans, and to use the architecture as a bridge to share narratives.
The ground level public meeting and cafeteria space included a suspended glass and aluminum sculpture to complement and counterbalance the adjacent 4-story art and provide a joyful, airy atmosphere. Each of the core elevator lobbies included site-specific commissioned work created by local artists to represent a diverse demographic yet express a common human experience. The content or narrative related to clinics located on a particular floor. The pediatric waiting area offered a playspace to spark imaginations and create interactions.
As a city-owned facility, hearing the diverse voices of the community, staff and patients were critical in the visioning process. This included working with an art selection committee made up of members of the architectural and design staff, physicians an employees, former patients and community members; patient focus groups; the Patient Experience planners; the hospital Foundation and donors; departmental managers; and the hospital's arts program coordinator. During fabrication and installation planning, there was extensive coordination between the art consultant, artists, the general contractor, architect, project engineer and individual tradesmen, all who worked together for a seamless project. Because of the complexity of the signature glass fabrication, meetings between the artist, Martin Donlin and the consultant were coordinated with the glass studio fabricators in Germany mid-way into the commission. As a city entity, there also was communications coordination required with public relations.
Martin Donlin also submitted his work for consideration for this award. He includes more specifics about the work, the content and the collaborative process. Because it is a government facility, the budget is not noted.