The London Children’s Hospital | A Fun Place To Be In.

Morag Myerscough, Come On In. Photography Gareth Gardner
“The whole aim of the piece was to make a ward that would help to bring some joy to the young patients and parents with colour and some fun that would be warm and welcoming.” Morag Myerscough, about her work Come On In. Photography Gareth Gardner

London Royal Children’s Hospital Transformed by Funny Art.

Due to the efforts of Vital Arts, a British art organization (working for Barts NHS Trust and charitably funded), the London Children’s Hospital received a whimsical and kid-friendly design. Over the last few years the hospital commissioned several artists and designers to transform the sterile space into a joyful, positive experience.

Morag Myerscough, Come On In. Photography Gareth Gardner
Designer Morag Myerscough has embellished ward 7D with her signature style of hand-painted words and distinctive patterns. This commission was inspired by a visit Myerscough made in 2008 to Delhi, excited by the wonderful colours and decoration of the city she returned home to create a series of drawings based upon her experience. Photography Gareth Gardner

 The walls of the lobby feature carnival-like signs and stenciled designs that resemble circus. The kids will feel like they’re entering a place that genuinely cares about them having positive, upbeat experiences.


Donna Wilson, Painted Landscapes. Photography Joe Clark
“I’ve enjoyed seeing and hearing the reactions of not just the children but the parents too who are so pleased that the ward feels happier, colourful and less sterile and intimidating. This makes it so worthwhile and hugely rewarding for me as a designer.” Donna Wilson, Painted Landscapes. Photography Joe Clark

“One of the most important things for me was to make the hospital not feel like a hospital,” says Donna Wilson, one of the commissioned artists. “I wanted the patients, parents and nurses all to feel relaxed, happy and stimulated by the environment that surrounds them, and by using design, you can lift the mood and well-being of the people there.”

Chris Haughton, Animals! Photography Jess Bonham
Chris Haughton, Animals! Photography Jess Bonham

Rug designer, author and illustrator of children’s book ‘Shh! We have a plan’ and ‘Oh No George’, Chris Haughton let his signature characters run wild in ward 7E. Rather than numbering each room Haughton decided to give each room a different animal character; a lion room, a parrot room and a fish room etc.

Chris Haughton, Animals! Photography Jess Bonham
The rugs add an element of warmth and cosiness in an otherwise clinical and sterile environment. Chris Haughton, Animals! Photography Jess Bonham


Each room features the same elements but with each animal, for example the ‘lion room’ has a lion’s face labelled on the door, a framed print of the lion and cub hiding in the grass, a framed woven rug of the lions portrait, and two vinyl stickers of the two lions chatting and running hidden somewhere on the walls. The framed rugs are hand-woven and made by a fair-trade group which Haughton help set up in Nepal. The rugs add an element of warmth and cosiness in an otherwise clinical and sterile environment.


Elevator Lobbies by Katharine Morling
Ceramicist Katharine Morling spent six-weeks on children’s wards working with patients to create sketchbooks recalling favourite memories and treasured toys. Morling then used these sketchbooks to develop porcelain sculptures for her commission for the new children’s hospital.


London Children’s Hospital Transformed by Fun Artwork
Featuring performing rhinos, butterflies and train tracks made from rulers, Collective Memories of the London presents a dream-like version of the everyday world.

The artists played with ceramics, rugs, wood, vinyl and other materials to decorate the hospital in vibrant colors. Charming drawings of animals adorn the walls and an entire ward has been transformed into a make-believe forest. In short, the place looks so good, a child might not want to leave it.

Activity Space (7th Floor) by  Cottrell and Vermeulen and Morag Myerscough
“We wanted to create a place that was an escape for the young patients, an engaging place that was fun, playful & colourful, but at the same time gave the opportunity for the whole family to relax together.”


 See more at the Vital Arts website

via Demilked