Sanctuary was conceived to provide an inviting gathering place for conversation or private contemplation. It is visible and easily accessible from the cafeteria of the Cancer Research Center. The design creates a visual dialogue with the architecture. Its location and design are keyed to the unique needs of Sanctuary’s most frequent visitors: hospital residents, doctors and workers; patients and their families.
The structure, 40 feet in diameter, suggests a colonnaded architectural ruin. Three concentric circular levels surround a central pool of water, as if the design has simply exposed a pre-existing natural spring. Each level is rimmed, so that visitors in wheelchairs can safely traverse its pathways. Ambulatory guests can walk up to the water’s edge, which is cantilevered over the pool.
A semicircle of four columns frame one edge, while truncated versions of the same form line the opposite side of the outer ring; these double as individual seats. In front of the taller columns is a freestanding mound of rocks, 6 feet high, from which water flows; its source appears to be hidden within the stones themselves. A single band of naturally formed limestone blocks hugs the opposite inner edge of the circle. The soothing sounds of the waterfall merges with an evocative architectural vocabulary to create a site that provides psychological respite for patients and others.
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
40-foot-diameter concrete plaza set into 1/2 acre landscape
Limestone boulders, colored concrete, water, recirculating pool; adjacent landscaping
University of South Florida, Art in Public Projects Program