Caption
Caption

APRIL 7 NHS charity partners with Albers Foundation to transform London children's hospital Elly Parsons, Wallpaper

MARCH 23 Artworks by Josef and Anni Albers installed to brighten up children's unit in St. Mary's hospital Robert Dex, Evening Standard

Caption
Caption
St. Marys Hospital, London. Photo: Ed Reeve

NHS charity partners with Albers Foundation to transform London children's hospital

The work and ethos of artists Josef and Anni Albers inspires the new interiors for the children's intensive care unit at St Mary's Hospital

This unique project combines state-of-the-art clinical equipment with artworks donated by the Albers Foundation, including, among other works, important wall murals and prints from Josef Albers's Homage to the Square series–a progression that occupied the artist for 25 years of his career. It also sees Anni's therapeutically iterative designs reflected in bespoke bed screens and wallpaper. Implemented in partnership with the interior graphic design team at Sable&Hawkes, yellow is prominent throughout, echoing Josef's belief that yellow was the colour of healing. A warm and welcoming environment greets all.

The children's intensive care unit at St. Mary's Hospital provides care for children with life-threatening conditions and those who have experienced acute trauma. It currently treats over 400 children annually. Since 2016, it has been undergoing a £10 million refurbishment (of which this project is a part), extending the number of intensive care beds from eight to 15, enabling staff to treat an extra 200 children a year.

The partnership with the Albers Foundation started when director Nicholas Fox Weber, (whose grandson Wilder Fox Smith was born at St. Mary's in 2014), learned of the hospital's extension project. "With energy and heart, the people at St Mary's have realised the wonderful transformation of the children's intensive care unit to an unprecedented degree," he explains. "My hope is that it will become the benchmark of what can be done worldwide wherever there are children–and the people who love them–in need."

©REPRODUCTION RESERVED

St. Mary's Hospital, London. Photo: Ed Reeve

Artworks by Josef and Anni Albers installed to brighten up children's unit in St. Mary's hospital

This children's intensive care unit has been transformed by a multi-million-pound art project.

St Mary's hospital, Paddington, joined up with the Albers Foundation to design the interior.

The foundation represents the estates of German artists Josef and Anni Albers whose geometric patterns and calm colours are seen throughout the unit. It includes murals from his Homage To The Square series, as well as bed screens and wallpaper taken from her work.

The head of the unit Dr. Simon Nadel said it was an attempt to "combine state-of-the-art clinical equipment and space with beautiful artworks" to create a "healing and therapeutic environment."

The £10 million refurbishment will almost double the number of beds and enable staff to treat an extra 200 seriously ill children every year. A fundraising campaign—the More Smiles Appeal—raised £2 million and a further grant of £2.8 million came from the Imperial Health Charity, with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust provided the remaining funds.

The foundation's director Nicholas Fox Weber said: "For Anni, abstract art was a source of balance and diversion, a relief from life's troubles. For her and Josef, the universal and timeless qualities of rhythm and colour brighten existence and enable people to withstand life's greatest challenges."

©REPRODUCTION RESERVED