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Mission Health fills it newest tower with local art

 In March 2020

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Photos by Aaron Hogsed

Providing the best health care is job No. 1 at the 12-story, 630,000-square-foot Mission Hospital North Tower in Asheville. But the $400 million-plus building that opened in October as one of the largest health care capital projects in N.C. history also offers an exceptional display of public art.

Parent Mission Health asked local artists to offer some of their work in August 2018, prompting a committee to buy 659 pieces from more than 150 painters, photographers, sculptors and others. That art now adorns the tower that has 220 single-occupancy rooms spread over five floors, with each floor incorporating a different core theme: earth, wood, water, metal and air.

One of the state’s largest collections of commissioned art represents a $750,000 investment, spokeswoman Nancy Lindell says. The building, which brought together services provided at Mission’s Memorial and St. Joseph’s facilities, includes a 94-bed emergency department, labs, operating rooms, a helicopter landing pad, a chapel and many other features. Officials say the new tower replaces undersized treatment and patient rooms while adding 51 acute-care beds.

The tower is on the former campus of St. Joseph’s Hospital, which was owned by the Sisters of Mercy before the 1998 merger with Memorial Mission. Brasfield & Gorrie was the general contractor, and Omaha, Neb.-based HDR was the architect for the project, which kicked off in 2015, long before HCA Healthcare’s $1.5 billion acquisition of Mission Health last February. Construction created about 1,300 jobs during its development.

Mission Health employs more than 12,000 people and also operates hospitals in Brevard, Franklin, Highlands, Marion and Spruce Pine.

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