Tri-State Real Estate Journal Article

Narrow eight-foot corridor yields to artistic solution

East Hanover, NJ – How do you create a dramatic entrance to a brand new, 180,000 square foot state-of-the-art research facility when its lobby is just a narrow eight foot corridor?

That was the unusual challenge given to Carol Franklin, a space planner and interior designer, when Sandoz Pharmaceutical Corp. retained her to design the interior of their new research laboratories here. The facility is considered one of the most technologically advanced in the entire worldwide pharmaceutical industry.

Because the budget was allocated primarily for the research laboratories and equipment, the public spaces of the new facility were minimized. From the main entrance, one entered a space facing a wall – eight feet away, 40 feet wide – nine feet high.

In order to dramatize this space while making a dramatic statement, Franklin, president of Leonia, NJ based Carol Franklin Associates Inc. decided that incorporating an original work of art, a large bas-relief – a wall mounted sculpture – was the best solution.

She searched the world for artists whose work would offer the timeless quality of fine art and communicate the message that Sandoz is committed to research and development for the betterment of humanity through healing and that the facility incorporates the most advanced technology available to achieve these goals.

Franklin arranged a competition, and Mel Fisher, a Philadelphia based artist, was selected because his art directly relates to the research taking place in the building.

The work, named “Creation,” consists of a main sculpture seven feet high by 40 feet wide and three more 8 foot by 10 foot pieces that articulate further down 60 feet of the corridor. The art suggests the story of creation starting with chaos and developing into order.

The piece consists of intricate patterns drawn from nature and science: cylindrical patterns of crystals, the cubic lattice of a diamond and snowflake hexagons – 17 panels of undulating patterns representing the balance of opposites found in nature all delicately “painted” with lighting of red, blue and yellow, the primary colors used throughout the building. The center panel represents DNA – the double helix pattern, the geometry of life.

“The importance of this major research facility is introduced in the lobby with the statement made by this major work of art,” says Franklin. “It visually expands the space, is aesthetically and emotionally overwhelming and communicates the building’s scientific significance as well as the Sandoz commitment to mankind.”

  • Location:

    East Hanover, NJ