Penn Medicine’s Pavilion, one of the largest hospital projects underway in the United States and the largest capital project in the University of Pennsylvania’s history, will feature an art installation by renowned artist and designer Maya Lin. The artwork—tentatively titled “DNA Tree of Life”—will be on display in the atrium of the new state-of-the-art facility, set to open later this year on the West Philadelphia campus of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Lin’s acclaimed work has been featured at museums and galleries around the world. Since her very first highly acclaimed work, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., completed in 1982, Lin has gone on to a remarkable career in both art and architecture. A committed environmentalist, Lin’s architecture has consistently focused on sustainable design solutions and sensitivity to site and adaptive reuse and her artworks have asked the viewer to pay closer attention to the natural world. Now, she’ll work with Penn Medicine to bring hope and inspiration to patients. Drawing inspiration from the shape of DNA, the extending branches of a tree, and a map of the Philadelphia-area landmark, the Schuylkill River, “DNA Tree of Life” connects nature and medical science, representing life within the hospital, and within the city.
“My approach to this piece is to create something that is uplifting, that has a sense of wonder and beauty,” Lin says. “I want to make you aware of your surroundings in the Pavilion, in this beacon of scientific advancement, connecting you to the physical and natural world around you while symbolizing the very essence of life—DNA.”