OSU-Wexner Medical Center -- and the 'New James'
OSU's Wexner Medical Center and its $1.1 billion expansion.
Landscape Architecture by MKSK, Columbus, Ohio, with Sasaki Associates, and OLIN
By Michael Miyamoto, LASN
MKSK, a landscape architecture firm based in Columbus, Ohio, played an integral role in the $1.1 billion expansion of the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and the Richard J. Solove Research Institute. Together, the facilities make up OSU's prestigious Comprehensive Cancer Center, and by extension, it was a major step forward in the OSU-Wexner Medical Center's long-range plans and strategies.
The OSUCCC -- commonly shortened to "The James" -- is one of 45 comprehensive cancer hospitals in the nation, named after Arthur G. James, the founder. With the recent expansion in 2014, it is now the third largest cancer hospital in the nation. The hospital treats cancer patients, while cancer research is conducted at the Solove Research Institute, named after Richard J. Solove, best known for his advocacy and philanthropy in the fight against the disease.
A phased development plan was created for the expansion -- and the "New James." This included "re-imagining" the Chlois G. Ingram Spirit of Women Park; the Phyllis G. Jones Legacy Park; the Gerbig, Snell-Weisheimer Children's Park; the new James Forecourt Plaza; and the Phyllis Kaldor Hope Garden. All these sites are part of the Ohio State University campus and the OSU-Wexner Medical Center, and have been named after Cancer Center donors.
Chlois G. Ingram Spirit of Women Park
The landscape architecture team collaborated with OLIN to "repurpose" an underutilized flat lawn panel as a respite garden and create a new home for the Chlois G. Ingram Spirit of Women Park. Ingram was a dedicated American Red Cross volunteer at the OSU Medical Center in the 1950s-1960s. The original park featured colorful, hand-painted ceramic tiles mounted to a concrete wall. The tiles describe the personal stories of beloved and honored women, both living and deceased. Reusing the multicolored ceramic tiles from the former park was not feasible because they were weathered and fragile. So MKSK recreated the tiles into glass panels in a painstakingly involved process. This was done to maintain the handcrafted quality of the original artwork. The park is a dramatic signature space for the OSU Medical Center.
The 1.25-acre Forecourt Plaza, set beneath a dramatic canopy, serves as the main entry to The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (The James) and accommodates the active movements of patients, shuttle buses and pedestrian access to a nearby parking garage. Seating and planting zones, a respite garden, and a performance stage are set within this linear plaza, all designed as places of calm for visitors, patients and staff.
Phyllis Kaldor Hope Garden
Located just outside the main entrance to The James, at the western edge of the Forecourt Plaza, the Phyllis Kaldor Hope Garden is the new home to the 13-foot bronze "Statue of Hope" that was designed by renowned sculptor Alfred Tibor. The statue was refurbished and is the centerpiece of the Garden, offering hope and inspiration to all people.
Phyllis A. Jones Legacy Park
Just south of the Forecourt spanning 10th avenue, the 2.4-acre Jones Legacy Park provides a dramatic "front" lawn to the new James. The identical brick used in the Oval's central promenade is repeated as the primary paving material in the park. Paving materials, site furnishings and the iconic serenade of the Orton Hall chimes, programmed into the light pole speaker system, were all part of the final design and link back to the history at Ohio State.
Gerbig, Snell/Weisheimer Children's Park
Tucked behind Jones Legacy Park, the Gerbig, Snell/Weisheimer Children's Park is a place for outdoor play for OSU Medical Center's younger visitors. The custom children's playground was designed to accommodate universal play.
MKSK: Landscape Architect
OLIN and Saski Associates: Collaborating landscape architects
EMH&T: civil engineer
Shelley, Metz, Baumann, Hawk (SMBH): structural engineer
Dynamix Engineering, LTD: mechanical and electrical engineer
C.I.D. Irrigation Consultants: irrigation consultant
Big Red Rooster: graphic design
Turner Construction Company-Lend Lease Construction Inc.: construction management