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Fort Belvoir Community Hospital Four Pavilions

October 2012
Member Project
Distinctive Art Source


Your firm’s role on the project: Art Consultant


Project vision/goals

Art by Design — Distinctive Art Sourced collaborated with HDR to visually bring each intentionally designed building theme to life through art selection featuring original photography by selected artist, Henry Domke. HDR developed unique identifying design themes for the clinic and hospital buildings. The River Pavilion reflects all forms of water found in the surrounding area. Eagle Pavilion features all types of northern Virginia birds and their habitats. Sunrise Pavilion pays homage to the importance of sunshine in the healing process. Meadow Pavilion reflects open fields and meadows native to northern VA. 


Lessons Learned

1. When art and design themes are integrated visual cohesion is eminent and way finding becomes greatly enhanced.
2. Paying close attention to each patient population as it varied from one clinic space to another was of utmost importance when selecting appropriate artwork for each building, floor and clinic space.


Additional details

Art Challenge: To create a visually varied art program by combining multiple works of art each featuring local scenery, flora and fauna specifically selected and placed to enhance the design theme of each building.

River Pavilion: The deep blues and saturated greens found in the Potomac and James Rivers help create a serene and soothing environment. Scenic views are combined with macro images all of which contain visual water references, attributes and characteristics.

Eagle Pavilion: The building’s exterior shape begins to express Fort Belvoir’s concern for the environment as well as its inhabitants. The swooping rooflines, reminiscent of an extended wingspan, collect rainwater which is then stored under the building and used to water exterior landscapes and gardens around the site. Soaring majestic images of eagles, falcons, hawks and the hundreds of other species of birds guide visitors through the pavilion. While the Eagle provides symbolic images of strength, additional birds represent those living in the ecologically significant and protected habitats found at Fort Belvoir and in the surrounding areas.

Sunrise Pavilion: Recognizes the important role of sunshine in healing environments.
It symbolizes and illustrates warmth, comfort, energy and exquisite beauty and a direct connection to nature. Throughout the building a combination of awe inspiring original photographs capture sunlight as it streams through trees, rises over a ridge and dances across leaves while illuminating all in its path. The literal depiction of sunlight compliments the building’s open design through the addition of multiple local scenes that compliment expansive exterior views.

Meadows Pavilion: Celebrates the open fields, pastures, rolling hills, valleys and animal inhabitants flourishing at Fort Belvoir and in the surrounding areas. Selected photography combines elements of discovery (dew drops on flowers, ladybugs, dragon flies and more) with unique views of easily recognizable wildflowers and fields. Together they provide patients with relaxing extended views of nature while at the same time delighting their senses as they can almost feel the warmth of the sun illuminating flowers and the coolness of a breeze as it moves across a field of grasses.