Client: Southcoast Health
Location: New Bedford, MA, United States
Completion date: 2020
Michael Curry Mosaics
A 30″ x 30″ glowing glass mosaic welcomes visitors into Southcoast Health’s brand new $14 million, state-of-the-art intensive care unit at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford Massachusetts. Depicting SouthCoast’s distinctive logo, the mosaic consists of vibrant, shimmering materials that catch the eye, making it the focal point of the lobby and a reinforcement of the company’s brand.
When construction was nearing completion in early 2020, Creative A was brought in to curate the art collection for the beautiful new space. As a production company that specializes in unique branding solutions, the Creative A team envisioned a special work of art that would replace the company signage slotted to be placed in the reception area. Southcoast loved the idea and that's when I was brought on board. Because of it's prominent position, this piece is really the first thing visitors see as they enter the space. We knew the piece needed to command attention and that's when it was decided that the mosaic would be backlit. From a health perspective, the client required that all materials be non-porous to avoid any accumulation of bacteria. Mounting the mosaic on clear plexi-glass was the obvious choice as it not only met the health code requirements, but would also allow light to pass through and create a luminous and welcoming centerpiece.
After submitting renderings showing various designs incorporating their logo, the client opted for the simplest concept: translating just the logo itself into mosaic format. From there, a small cross section sample was created for the client and the project was immediately green-lighted. The wall needed to be reconfigured to accommodate the mosaic and this required a full team meeting with Creative A, the architects, contractors, and myself to solidify the lighting and hanging details. Since the mosaic is translucent, hiding the hanging system and electrical elements was one of our biggest challenges and required full team collaboration.
All of the project details were solidified in late February, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was igniting on the east coast. I went into production on the piece, fearing that perhaps it would all be delayed or even cancelled in light of the escalating pandemic. The opposite proved to be true. As part of the Massachusetts response to COVID-19, Southcoast actually accelerated the project by a month in anticipation of a surge in ICU patients. All parties worked overtime to ensure a successful and timely installation and the ICU unit opened its doors a month early, as planned.