Client: SSM Health and Saint Louis University
Location: Saint Louis, MO, United States
Completion date: 2020
Artwork budget: $650,000
Interior Design Principal
PS Art Consulting
Emil Frei and Associates
The new SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital brings advanced patient-centered facilities to the St. Louis region. The overall design utilizes natural elements to celebrate the site’s urban environment. Lawrence Group collaborated with the hospital’s art committee and several partners for the artwork curation.
Cbabi Bayoc’s gallery wall, “Bouquet of Humanity,” pays homage to the cultural influences of the surrounding south St. Louis neighborhoods. The murals along the connection from the garage reflect this diversity through a bright, colorful palette. One of the project’s largest art pieces is Rachel Hayes’ atrium sculpture entitled “Not Fade Away.” The patchwork of textiles and acetate fills the atrium with joyful movement by embracing the sun’s changing light. As a Catholic institution, the Chapel is a critical piece of the architectural puzzle. The stained glass and stations of the cross were created by Will Frank, an artist with Emil Frei and Associates, a fifth-generation stained glass studio in St Louis. “The Five,” by Jeff Waggoner, is an outdoor sculpture at the tower’s entry representing the five sisters who started SSM Health. The four powder-coated columns range in size from 12 to 20 feet with one bare steel column signifying the community’s goal of unity.
Located in an urban setting, it is critical that the new hospital reflects the surrounding community and serves as a place that supports the mission of the combined institutions of SSM Health and Saint Louis University. The representation of the neighborhoods surrounding the hospital define the concept of community, with an emphasis on the gardens within the Missouri Botanical Garden, which identify the different floors within the facility. The artwork connects to each garden without being totally representative. The team explored a broad array of mediums and styles to create a varied aesthetic while maintaining organic and natural elements.
The overall goal of this project was to utilize the power of art to encourage healing, provide distraction and bring joy. The art connects meaning to everything rather than just being decorative. Our team worked to incorporate each piece of art as a way to bring life to the neutral building palette, highlight the character of the neighborhood and support the local arts community.
The artwork for the new SSM Health SLU Hospital was part of the overall design approach for the building from the beginning of the design development phase of the design. A vision for incorporating exclusively local art and visual connection to the neighborhoods was proposed and accepted as the overarching artwork approach. The project displayed the truest form of collaboration and teamwork. Designers, art professionals and committees of vested partners joined together in order to bring the vision to life by selecting the artists and successfully completing the overall design. Due to the clarity of the vision and dedication to it, multiple partners were able to contribute and create a product that is greater than the sum of its parts.
The commitment to sharing the powerful healing nature of art extends outside of the walls of SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. The team of art consultants, artists, designers, collectors and healthcare executives came together once again to publish a book titled ‘The Healing Power of Art’ that encapsulates the wide variety of pieces selected for the project and the local artists who created them.