Photo by Will Howcroft

Solution

Polytrauma and Blind Rehabilitation Center, Field Guide

Palo Alto, CA

Market: Health Care

Client

Helmick Sculpture

Completion

2017
Polytrauma and Blind Rehabilitation Center, Field Guide

Photo by Will Howcroft

Polytrauma and Blind Rehabilitation Center, Field Guide

Photo by Will Howcroft

Polytrauma and Blind Rehabilitation Center, Field Guide

Photo by Will Howcroft

Displayed outside the Veteran’s Administration Polytrauma & Blind Rehabilitation Center, Field Guide initially appears to be an abstract latticework. As they approach, visitors can see or feel that this form comprises twenty-two images of indigenous Northern California species complemented by dozens of three-dimensional golden birds. The same graphics are replicated inside on a copper-colored cylinder suspended in the atrium. SGH consulted on the structural and seismic performance of both sculptures.

Scope | Solutions

SGH collaborated with Helmick Sculpture to design the intricate waterjet-cut steel sculptures. Highlights of our work included the following:

  • Performed finite element analyses using Rhino and Millipede with in-house scripts to rapidly predict material stresses in the steel, based on iterative design changes

  • Designed the structures to meet seismic demands, working within the sculpture’s artistic intent and dimensional requirements

  • Used a rapid computational analysis process, allowing the artist to continue his design process without being delayed

  • Designed the exposed architectural concrete foundation for the exterior display, including hidden base connections

  • Used a dynamic design process to evaluate the suspended cylinder and help the artist minimize and optimize the hanger locations

  • Developed details to connect the cylinder’s wire hangers to the atrium’s ceiling structure

Project Contact(s)