Client: Tenet Healthcare
Location: Philadelphia, PA, United States
Completion date: 2016
Artwork budget: $100,000
Artisan Millwork, LLC
Tenet Healthcare, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children
Tenet Healthcare, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children Critical Care Tower is a four-story, 135,000-square-foot, tower addition that is in line with the hospital’s commitment to providing high-quality pediatric care.
The tower houses a 39-bed neonatal intensive care unit with private beds.
The open floor plan of the main lobby leads to the new admissions center. Wayfinding elements lead patients and families to their destinations. The interior design reduces environmental stresses by creating positive focal points.
We set out to transform a simple image through light and material and since the theme of the project was “play and place”, we considered using marbles as color and light pixels that would appeal to different ages and provide interest and discovery over a number of patient visits. The marbles shimmer in the lobby light, providing a playful visual discovery for younger children and pleasant recollections for adults. With the morning light, the color of the marbles reads more clearly, but during the evening hours, the reflections of the artificial lights soften the colors of the marbles. Like tiles in a mosaic, the marbles can be read as an abstract composition up close, but emerge as an image as the viewer steps back. The cropping of the image according to the shape of the desk provides another level of abstraction while engaging the lower horizon of the younger children.
The design was developed as a series of multi-scale experiences intended to create an uplifting, age neutral mural that continuously engages over time. EwingCole developed the concept and design for the wall and selected a specific marble color palette to be used. EwingCole created a full-scale mock-up of a panel of the marbles during the early phases of design to convey the idea to the owner and team as well as identify some of the challenges they would run into with the construction. Once EwingCole developed the final scheme they worked with Artaic, a tile company, who translated the image into a coordinated system that provided the framework for the marble arrangement and marble selection. Artisan, a millwork sub-contractor, constructed the panels each weighing 200 pounds.
The image is composed of approximately 180,000 individual marbles assembled in a series of panels.