WA Country Health Service/ Silver Thomas Hanley Architects
Copper, stainless steel, concrete, water, led
The new Warren Integrated District Health Service is an inspiring centre for the broader Manjimup community accentuating the welcome with two public artworks provided under the Percent for Art Scheme by artists Adam Cruickshank andGeorge Domahidy. The works create a complementary entry statement to the majestic architecture as well as providing a compelling interactive element in the courtyard area.
The placemaking artwork ‘Beginnings’ is a freestanding sculpture in the roundabout at the entry of the facility, sitting comfortably amongst a garden of flowering native plants. At four metres tall, the artwork’s leaf structures form a garden-like arrangement with several tall strands that simulate the experience of approaching a Karri forest. The piece provides a line of sight to the hospital, foreshadowing the larger ‘tree’ structure at the building’s entry.
Illuminated at night, the ‘Voronoi’ patterning in the leaves creates a skeletal form reminiscent of the transient and cyclical nature of life. The six leaves are beautifully constructed of plate copper that develops a warm, natural patina in harmony with the building’s themes.
As you walk past the roundabout and through the imposing tree structure at the entrance to the building, the artists’ second eye-catching work can be seen in the external central courtyard just off the waiting area. ‘Moments Suspended is a stunning, two and a half metre high polished stainless-steel sphere. The giant droplet appears as if it is on the verge of hitting the earth as it hangs suspended from a two-leaf Karri sapling. Linking back to the construction of the earlier artwork with ‘Voronoi’ patterning, the piece reminds us of a suspended moment in time. The artwork portrays the unpredictable nature of life, with the water bowl and stones laying underneath the droplet providing a reflective calming influence for waiting patients.
The classic proportions of the courtyard artwork contributes to a soothing atmosphere, with the cascading water making this an integral part of the courtyard. The droplet reflects the viewer and surroundings, providing an opportunity to interact, play and relax. The earthy colours integrate well with the wooden seating and rammed earth features of the building, providing a seamless interaction with the architectural built form.