Facility: Salem Hospital
Location: Salem, Ore.
Architect: HKS Inc., Dallas
Sculptor: John Matthew Richen

When the stress of the day becomes too great, patients, visitors and staff at Salem Hospital in Salem, Ore., can now find respite outdoors.

The landscaped plaza at the new center of campus is an extension of the indoor healing environment, offering fresh air, the sound of running water, garden walks and seating. At the heart of the plaza stands "Ascension," a 14-foot, hammered-bronze sculpture by Pacific Northwest native John Matthew Richen, intended to lead thoughts to hope and healing.

Campus planning teams envisioned this plaza as part of a project that located emergency, surgery and critical-care services in a new, state-of-the-art tower connected to existing buildings by skybridges with views of the Willamette Valley's lush green foliage.

Donors dedicated the sculpture to the people—past, present and future—who come together to make Salem Hospital a place of healing.