Using a palette of water and stone, Maya Lin partnered with Clayco to design a public space on the campus of BJC HealthCare. Organized around a serene pond, the space encourages reflection, provides a respite, and helps people in moments of both grief and joy. The space helps to welcome visitors to the BJC Institute of Health at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and created an expansive and welcoming green space in the middle of Washington University Medical Center.
World-renowned artist Maya Lin, best known for designing the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington, D.C., designed the plaza’s landscape and water feature, in partnership with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc. of Boston.
The focal point of the plaza will be a water feature nearly 80 feet in diameter with a raised platform that provides visitors a vantage point to view the landscape. Fed by a 4,000-gallon reservoir, the year-round pool will be an “infinity pool” with a disappearing edge. The 38-foot diameter platform will include fiber-optic lighting made to look like twinkling stars when lit at night.
Seating will be placed throughout the plaza offering an inviting place of respite that complements the interiors of the hospitals, clinics and research facilities.
In addition, the 2.2 acre plaza leading to the building’s entrance is designed to bring Missouri’s lush landscape to the urban campus with trees, grasses and plants native to the St. Louis area and to the state chosen in partnership with the Missouri Botanical Garden. Many of the 40,000 plants placed in the plaza will be species found at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Shaw Nature Preserve in far west St. Louis County.