The scenic views of Chicago's famous skyline available from the new 14-story tower that now houses Rush University Medical Center just weren't artsy enough for hospital officials.
Outliers: Rush decks its new halls with art 'transformation'
Despite the sightlines, Rush officials needed something to help spruce up the hallways of the $654 million building that opened this month to replace aging facilities. About a year and a half ago, they brought in H. Marion Art Consulting Services for the Rush Transformation Project. H. Marion surveyed the 841,000-square-foot hospital and brought in framed art, about 1,400 pieces. But there's no art inside the patient rooms, Jan Marion, president of H. Marion told Outliers. They didn't want to compete with the scenic views, he says.
The art had to reflect the hospital’s branding, Marion says. For Rush, that is that it’s ingrained in Chicago, as the hospital name has been around for almost as long as the city. For H. Marion to do that, its art had to follow three tenets. It had to reflect Chicago as a world-class city and embrace its diversity. Much of the art—posters, limited edition prints, even prints done on bamboo—was crafted by local artists.
Secondly, the art had to act as an interior finish, to blend with the building’s contemporary design. While not one of the pieces is controversial or edgy, the art carries a modern feel, Marion says. Yes, patients will see the occasional lush landscape littered with flowers, a hospital staple. But Marion says his firm wanted to embrace the new building’s modern architecture. Finally, the art had to be therapeutic. Friendly colors and images that help promote healing have long been popular with hospitals.
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