Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center selected several artists to create original, permanent art installations for the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Research Center. Their work underscores the connection between art and architecture, form and function.
A significant feature of the building’s interior is its centrally located “interaction staircase”, designed to encourage exchanges and chance encounters among researchers throughout the 23-story facility.
New York-based artist Alyson Shotz worked directly with the glass panels that enclose the “interaction staircase” — from floors 4 through 9 and continuing from floors 11 through 21 — to create a permanent installation that unfolds from one floor to the next. Using silkscreening and mirroring techniques, Ms. Shotz has applied and extended her exploration of natural forms, and her ideas about space, light, and movement in her work for MSKCC. The fabrication of the glass panels was done under the artist’s supervision in Munich, Germany.
California-based artist Jim Isermann created a unique “sculptural ceiling” for the Cyber Lounge, a central gathering place for researchers that is located on the ground floor of the 23-story building. The expansive installation, spanning the entire footprint of the room’s ceiling, measures 26 feet x 28 feet and is composed of powder-coated aluminum modules. (Powder-coating is a high-performance paint system applied to aluminum. Pigment is encapsulated in a powdered resin and provides a smooth, durable, uniform-colored surface. Its use results in a reduction in air pollution, as compared to liquid coatings.) The three-dimensional sculpture forms a brightly colored, looped pattern of red-orange and silver hues that is incorporated into the ceiling and suspended in a hexagonal chassis between four structural support columns.
The artwork commissioned for the seven-story addition that will be completed in the second phase of construction is currently being conceptualized and created. Three New York-based architects — Marc Tsurumaki, Paul Lewis, and David J. Lewis — are responsible for the project, which will be the main focal point in the lobby of that structure.