This project began with an interest in challenging the typical notion of the parking structure as an unappreciated infrastructural typology by transforming the new Eskenazi Hospital parking structure into a binary, synthetic terrain. During the design process, an interest in camouflage evolved into an approach that would create a very large dynamic, interactive element for the city.
Rather than an actively kinetic approach, with all of the inevitable maintenance and longevity concerns that accompany those types of project, we were instead working towards an approach that capitalizes on the fact that most viewers would, themselves, be moving on bicycles or in automobiles. Thus, the design ultimately became something that offers a degree a variability of color and form as one passes by the project. The awareness of this, interestingly enough, occurs whether someone is directly watching or even just seeing it out of their periphery vision.
The effect of a field of 7,000 angled metal panels in conjunction with an articulated east/west color strategy creates a dynamic facade system that offers observers a unique visual experience depending on their vantage point and the pace at which they are moving through the site. In this way, pedestrians and slow moving vehicles within close proximity to the hospital will experience a noticeable, dappled shift in color and transparency as they move across the hospital grounds, while motorists driving along W. Michigan Street will experience a faster, gradient color shift which changes depending on their direction of travel.
To facilitate the effect, a total of 18 different panel sizes and angles are used throughout. These panels range from 11 inches tall by 23 inches long, to 11 inches tall by 3 feet long. There are approximately 7,000 of these panels. The color scheme is quite simple as the west side received a deep blue color, while the east side receives a golden yellow color. The angles, alone, create the illusion of different hues.