The Emergency Department at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital has been significantly expanded and redeveloped to be able to treat up to 140,000 patients. We worked closely with the hospital to transform the department through innovative design based on research which shows how light, colour, smell and sound can affect hormones, brain activity and the way people behave.1
We commissioned artist and painter Sarah Beck Mather to create a new body of work for the department, commissioned to provide a soothing atmosphere for the area. “I felt it was important that my art brought a sense of tranquility to both visitors and staff,” Sarah reflected, “I chose to use soothing colours, reminiscent of sunsets and oceans, to offer a distraction and burst of colour for staff and patients.”
The artwork was produced in collaboration with the ED team, ensuring staff felt the work was appropriate for the space, and reflective of the high level of care within the department. Deputy Matron Hilary Donnellan was involved in the project and said, “Our team valued the opportunity to be a part of this installation and to have a positive ray of hope through this challenging time at the hospital – the new artwork brings some much-needed brightness to the department.”
Thanks to our generous supporters, we brought together artists and designers to create a calmer environment in which to be treated. This enhanced environment aims to lower patient anxiety and improve clinical outcomes, such as reducing waiting times, stress and pain, and faster recovery. Site-specific visual and digital art commissions, adaptable lighting, distracting ceiling light boxes and window manifestations and bespoke music playlists feature throughout the redevelopment.
Artwork in the Fracture Clinic was created by Taiwanese-born artist Jazz Szu-Ying. Her series of skeletons provide a modern interpretation of medical illustrations and the bold and bright colours were chosen to help create a positive working and therapeutic environment.
We commissioned artist Helen Bridges to produce artwork throughout the Emergency Observation Unit which incorporates supportive art and design principles that can help those with dementia. We also installed a collection of moving image artworks by video art collective Accademia in the Imaging Department waiting area which works to distract and engage patients during their hospital visit.
Bespoke lightboxes were installed in each of the treatment bays in the Resus Department. These long, thin lightboxes display panoramic landscape photographs, provided by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital staff member and award-winning amateur photographer Dr. Tom Pepper.
Artist Monika Bravo created a scheme of artwork for the Urgent Care Centre. Her overlaying of natural imagery, city scenes and bold colours transforms the department.
Finally, we also transformed our Paediatric Emergency Department. Design agency Boex created a calm and informal environment in the new waiting area with curved wood seating and interactive screens. Artist Maddy Sargent created a large, playful illustration for the waiting and treatment rooms, and video art collective Accademia also produced a series of moving animal portraits creating The Zoo – a bespoke digital work aimed to distract and entertain our youngest patients.
View more images below or learn more about our commissions here.
1 Reducing violence and aggression in A&E, Design Council 2011