Houston Methodist Arms of Christ Mural Relocation
The Arms of Christ Mural is positioned on the front of Houston Methodist building complex. The mosaic, constructed in Florence, Italy in 1963, preceded the addition of a porte cochere and the growth of trees planted in front of the building over the span of 40+ years. Walter P Moore worked together with an art preservationist to come up with the best plan to retain the mural’s artistic and structural integrity. Ultimately, the mural was strategically dissected and remounted inside the lobby of the hospital using an innovative gravity connections in order to minimize damage to the mural.
Relocation of the mural required careful and comprehensive planning in order to minimize damage. During the relocation process, Walter P Moore provided load check services for rigging support during the cutting and removal of the mural from the exterior wall and took a comprehensive approach to designing a new framing system for relocation of the mural. To preserve the pieces and decrease the occurrence of damage to the tiles, the framing system was designed to carry the weight of the mural panels in a similar way to the original design. All gravity loads were carried through mechanical fasteners instead of mural material or adhesives. Another interesting approach was to place the relocated mosaic in tension to avoid cracking.