Public Art at Johns Hopkins

Yesterday the Johns Hopkins Hospital officially opened its new building, the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center, bringing an empathetic and curatorial eye to civic architecture by inviting 70 artists to create more than 500 on-site installations throughout the structure. One of the most visible highlights is a 250,000 square foot glass curtain wall on the facade designed by artist Spencer Finch, in which each aluminum panel is sandwiched between two layers of glass colored in a "carefully distilled palette" of 26 shades, one for each letter of the alphabet.

Image courtesy of Paul Warchol 2012.

"Blowfish" sculpture by Robert Israel suspended over the atrium.
"Blowfish" sculpture by Robert Israel suspended over the atrium. Image courtesy of John Dean.

"The intent (and hope) of the art and architecture program was to uplift the spirit of the patient and the visitor as they arrive here at the hospital, to relieve that initial stress," says Michael Iato, extolling the "humanizing and dignifying experience" of the new space. 

Super size sculpture "28 Moons" by Robert Israel.
Super size sculpture "28 Moons" by Robert Israel. Image courtesy of John Dean.

Some other fun facts: Architecture firm Perkins + Will ranked #1 last year in Interior Design magazine's Health Care Giants survey, the same year Architect magazine listed it as the "Most Admired Firm in Healthcare." Art in the children's hospital rooms comes in the form of window shades, as artist Jim Boyd drew cues from a local Baltimore tradition of painting the screen doors and windows of one’s row house. Landscape architect Susan Weiler of Olin designed the exterior plantings to echo patterns in the building's vibrant glass façade. 

Glass windows by Paul Warhol, part of public arts program at Johns Hopkins Hospital

The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s new building, the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center, brought an empathetic and curatorial eye to civic architecture by inviting 70 artists to create more than 500 on-site installations. "The intent (and hope) of the art and architecture program was to uplift the spirit of the patient and the visitor as they arrive here at the hospital, to relieve that initial stress."

Image courtesy of Paul Warchol 2012.

For more info, the hospital has its own website with documentary process videos, including a guest spot from philanthropist, media mogul, and New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg. The building is named for his late mother and the beneficiary of Bloomberg's $120 million gift.

Finch etched and baked fritted brushtrokes into the glass walls and windows which don't obstruct the views from the interior out. By night, the building resembles, according to the artist, either a glowing lantern or a snow globe.
Finch etched and baked fritted brushtrokes into the glass walls and windows which don't obstruct the views from the interior out. By night, the building resembles, according to the artist, either a glowing lantern or a snow globe.

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