Hinsdale Hospital fountain designed to soothe
Seen from above, the fountain in the atrium of the Adventist Hinsdale Hospital consists of water running through mylar strands from a base of bricks, stone and granite engraved with Bible verses. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 1, 2013 6:23AM
HINSDALE — The water feature in the main lobby of Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s patient pavilion both intrigues and comforts.
“The pavilion overall has a healing nature theme,” said Jim Today, the hospital’s administrative director of facilities.
Adventist Midwest Health Chief Executive Officer David Crane suggested a water feature for the new pavilion, which opened in April and recently was named in honor of Hinsdale residents and donors Alfred and Jean Koplin.
“We were looking for a soothing location for our patients, visitors and staff to enjoy, and the water feature fit the bill,” Today said.
Water runs more than five stories from the atrium roof of the lobby to a tiered brick and granite base with smooth dark stones and plants. The water, lit from the top, flows in a double row of fine mylar strands.
Visitors have called the constant movement and sound of running water mesmerizing.
“People walk in and see it. They look up and their jaws drop,” said Nick Sauder, patient registrar.
“Some people ask if (the liquid) is oil.” Sauder tells them, “It’s water on a thin, plastic string.”
A pump, located south of the elevators in the lobby, pushes the water from the reservoir on the ground up to a small dam at the top of the atrium, Today explained. Gravity causes the water to travel back down the mylar strands to the reservoir.
“The system balances the water supply so the weir doesn’t overflow and the mylar strands don’t dry out,” Today said.
The water, along with a large cross and the chapel in the lobby, also represent the religious message of the hospital.
“The whole pavilion theme supports our mission of the healing ministry of Christ,” Today said.
Bible verses engraved around the base convey the message, too, such as from Isaiah: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.”
The fountain has been roped off with signs warning not to touch it, because it is delicate, and has been broken at least twice by people touching the water or mylar strands, hospital officials said.