In the east valley of Phoenix, a lavender lantern glows at the entrance to the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center. Towering 70 feet above the first-floor awning and giving the center a unique identity, the Lantern of Hope is a symbol, a shelter, and an art form.
Cannon Design’s Sara Schonour, who works in the company’s Boston office, led the design of the structure, which is three tiers of tube steel, patented GORE TENARA Architectural Fabric, and water-jet cut metal paneling that combine to create a silhouette of the Palo Verde tree against the soft backlight—a quality that won the design an International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) Award of Excellence.
The image of the tree represents healing and is carried through the interior design of the building for a cohesive reminder of the haven that the center provides. On the center’s second and third floors, visitors can sit inside the lantern and experience its glow by sunlight. Lit from the bottom by 45 IP66 long-life LEDs, the lantern’s radiance, executed by Delta Diversified Enterprises, gradually dissipates at the top like a natural flame.
“The community of Phoenix had needed something like this for so long,” says Steve Eiss, a senior project manager for Banner Health. “Building the lantern was a beacon that help was on the way.”