Though art and architecture are related fields, architecture usually comes first, while art is used merely as an adornment of the existing space. But what happens when the two intersect? Art and architecture are becoming increasingly integrated, with stunning results.
The Architects Newspaper recently featured a project that is a fantastic embodiment of this trend- the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center in Baltimore. According to AN, architects at Parkins + Will had already begun designing a new hospital at Johns Hopkins University when they were met with a design boon and challenge all in one. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had donated $120 million to the project, but with one caveat- the project must include art, “not just “plop art,” but art integrated into the architecture.”
This lofty goal was achieved by creating a distinctive curtain wall with the assistance of artist Spencer Finch. While Finch’s body of work up to that point involved the interplay of glass and light, the prospect of a 20-story, energy efficient curtain wall was quite a daunting task. When asked , Finch had this to say: “Normally, I do exhibitions that are up for a while and then they come down, so the permanence was sort of terrifying.”
The resulting combination of color glazing, shadow box construction, and fritted glass in a rippled pattern makes a beautiful statement, with the colors echoing the reflections of wisteria on Monet’s pond in Giverny.
At our Boston architecture firm, we love it when we are able to incorporate art into a space, working with talented artists to create something truly one-of-a-kind. Stay tuned to the blog, because we’ll be sharing one of our own projects from Leslie Saul & Associates soon that features a fantastic combination of art and architecture!