Client: IU Health Neuroscience Center
Location: INDIANAPOLIS, IN, United States
Completion date: 2012
Katrina J. Murray
Design/Construction at Indiana University Health
Nathan Myles Tommer
It was important for this to be “the” visual impact wall in this hospital. The artwork would be viewed from an upper level mezzanine and a lower level dining area. Pendent lights and large windows with southern exposure in the northern hemisphere. No light specific to the artwork. No Power source. It was also very important for the patients of this hospital not be neurologically disturbed by the artwork. Meaning no flashing lights or unnecessary movement, essentially a piece that would imbue calm. Other artwork in the building is nature based. Require little to no maintenance or recurring costs.
I was brought in on the project while construction was ongoing. The space for the artwork wall was a two-story white space, approximately 30 ft. x 20 ft. with a large 30 ft. x 4ft x 2 ft. bulkhead across the center. The existing architectural design included a repetition of color, and shape throughout. The component quality of my work made it possible to scale the artwork to fit the architectural challenges. A power source is not necessary to the success of my work. Ambient lighting relative to the site is carefully considered during construction and placement of components.
Initial meeting began with interior design team and lead construction manager and myself. Collaboration began while the construction was wrapping up. Long before any finishes were in place. The interior design team provided color and material samples and photographs of existing architectural features in other parts of the building as aids in my creative process. Through site visits and communication with construction team leaders I was able to understand the underlying structure of the building before beginning the artwork. I was also allowed access to the building during construction and provided architectural renderings. The color palette was drawn from the interior design teams materials and storyboards. I used proportions based on stud placement in the walls and the size of the space and bulkhead.
The IU Health Neuroscience Center is designated as a gold-certified LEED facility. This installation is made with furniture grade plywood partially coated with an auto body paint finish. In the case of fire the paint finish can act as a flame retardant. If the wood were to catch fire it does not have the same toxic fumes as plastic or synthetic materials. The final design consisted of 18 furniture grade wooden boxes with an auto body finish. Each of the boxes held 2 removable panels. These 36 panels were individually oil painted with an abstract version of prairie grass.