March 20, 2012
The artful skin of the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center and the Sheik Zayed Tower at Johns Hopkins hugs the exterior and works in tandem with the long upward curving canopy, which stretches along the entire length of the entrance to provide a clear and unmistakable point of arrival.
“This is the only hospital I know of with all its public entrances—for general visits as well as for emergencies—gathered in one area, under the canopy,” says Sally MacConnell, Johns Hopkins Health System vice president for facilities. “So when you arrive, the architecture guides you in, no matter which direction you are coming from. Even if you are under a lot of stress, the building makes it easy.”
The canopy, together with the pedestrian bridges (which connect the buildings with a parking garage across Orleans Street) and the entry plaza’s football-field long tapestry of green all work together to visually reinforce and reaffirm a visitor’s arrival. These features also work together to make the massive hospital structure feel less intimidating. While the canopy and the bridges help to reduce the scale of the building, the landscaping and gardens soften one’s approach.
Designed by Susan Weiler of Olin, the landscaping for the hospital’s entry plaza features long rows of planting in horizontal banding that provide a visual display of colors in every season. The planting patterns evoke the movement, colors and patterns of the building’s vibrant glass façade. When viewed from above, the entry plaza plantings will “reflect” the exterior design of American artist Spencer Finch to those inside.
The new clinical buildings at Johns Hopkins open to the public May 1, 2012
Learn more about Art and Architecture at The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center