Art, light, and beauty complement the healing process
Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, USA, University Health System (UHS) is a nationally recognized academic medical center providing healthcare services to more than 200,000 patients per year. Along with its primary downtown location, UHS comprises more than a dozen neighborhood clinics throughout San Antonio that deliver highly accessible primary and preventative care to local families.
Due to rising patient volume in 2012, UHS management proposed the construction of the new Clinical Pavilion at the center's Robert B. Green Campus in downtown San Antonio. The Pavilion would serve as a comprehensive one-stop-shop for outpatient care, featuring the latest in imaging technology, diagnostic capabilities, and specialty clinical services. The construction site was chosen for its symbolic significance as the location of the former Robert B. Green Memorial Hospital, a facility that served generations of San Antonians beginning in 1917.
In addition to offering cutting-edge treatment options, the Clinical Pavilion was designed to carry on a signature tradition of UHS: using art, light, and beauty to complement the healing process. To preserve this practice, the Pavilion's architectural team — the San Antonio-based architectural firm Overland Partners and global design and engineering services company RKTL — commissioned San Antonio artist Bill FitzGibbons to create a vibrant exterior lighting installation for the project.
Enter San Antonio Colorline, FitzGibbons's response to the design team's challenge. San Antonio Colorline is a site-specific, dynamic LED light sculpture illuminating the Pavilion's four façades with shifting, saturated colored light, creating a welcoming and visually striking first impression for patients.
FitzGibbons installed ColorReach Powercore long-throw LED floodlights on custom mounting racks that are affixed to the Pavilion's south, east, and west façades on the second-floor level. These luminaires uplight the building's aluminium panel siding, projecting a broad, even wash of color up the building's five highest floors.
The south façade is dominated by a recessed central wall of windows extending from the building's main entrance on the ground floor to the fourth story. FitzGibbons installed racks of ColorBlast Powercore wash lights atop the wall to extend the color wash above the windows. ColorGraze Powercore luminaires mounted on ledges on the building's fifth floor graze the top of the east, north, and west façades with narrow ribbons of color, creating a unified lighting display on all four of the Pavilion's faces.
The installation is controlled by a Light System Manager Ethernet lighting controller, delivering a variety of dynamic color-changing effects to be displayed across multiple fixtures and defined zones. FitzGibbons' signature lighting program is shown daily from dusk until late evening. FitzGibbons also programmed two additional light shows: the Holiday Program, shown during the winter holiday season, and the Shades of Pink Program, shown throughout October to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
"University Health System embraces the use of art in its architecture as a holistic approach to well-being and the healing process. This daily artwork revelation on the exterior of the Clinic will celebrate this exceptional and important addition to the downtown community," FitzGibbons said. "Color Kinetics makes a great product, and their technical support and sales service is outstanding!"
Since its completion in December 2012, San Antonio Colorline has helped the Clinical Pavilion quickly establish itself as a prominent fixture of downtown San Antonio. The lighting installation has earned significant acclaim, winning the People's Choice Award for Best Lighting Display of a Building in the city's Light Up Downtown Second Annual Holiday Contest.