University of Iowa, Larry Kirkland, 2016
SERVICES PROVIDED: Design coordination, Materials research, Budget management, Engineering coordination and oversight, Fabricator bid process, Fabrication oversight, Lighting design development, Shipping, Installation services, Scheduling, Project close-out.
The 30,000 square foot 22' tall lobby for the new University of Iowa Children's Hospital has 14,000 square feet of open space that is open day and night for the patients, families and staff of the facility. The goal was to make an environment that was welcoming and a place to investigate and discover. From working on several other children's hospitals Kirkland knows that one goal is to create distractions for those families dealing with a seriously ill child. The building was the design of Foster+Partners and the interiors by Zimmer Gunsal Frasca Partnership. Kirkland was brought into the project by ZGF to focus on the lobby. The collaboration touched every surface and resulted in a bright joyful adventuresome space. The DISCOVERY FLOOR of terrazzo uses a twisting ribbon motif filled with a variety of patterns, images of toys, tools, animals and birds intertwined like puzzle pieces. In addition, Spirograph patterns mark the larger gathering spaces within the lobby. Six MY TOWN wind vanes rotate overhead. Stacks of inlaid Corian alphabet blocks spell out the names of geographically dispersed Iowa towns. Images associated with these places enliven the blocks. The wind vanes suggest a visual narrative and recall the rural roots of the state. The six LET'S SEE vitrines link two sides of the lobby with small scale three dimensional cases. Using alphabet blocks, toy animals and other found objects, the art pieces are perfect for exploring hidden words and math challenges as a place to distract and discover.