08 February 2015


I have spent an unfortunate amount of time in pediatric hospital wards in my day.  So-so hospitals, top-rate hospitals, huge hospitals and smaller ones, clinics, doctors offices, you name it.  They all have one singular thing in common that I believe to be one of the most soul sucking elements on earth: fluorescent lighting.  If there is anything that can make even a healthy person look and feel sick it is the greenish hue of corporate strip lights.

There is little hope to counter this malaise, but invariably hospitals only make it worse by decorating in the soft mauves and beiges and greys of a 1980's Holiday Inn.  On the pediatric ward they might tape up a cut out of a monkey or a dinosaur but, honestly, that only makes it more depressing.  The space itself and it's effects on patients is, of course an afterthought.  They are there for MEDICINE  in big gold lights, not a spa day.

This hospital in London, however, has received the memo that the environment you are treated in, especially if you are a child, has a massive impact on your overall experience. It will not negate that having to be in a pediatric ward is often terrifying, devastating, incredibly boring and claustrophobic, but being in a space that is designed with joyous creativity sends the message to visitors that says "your comfort and and your feelings matter to us while you are here". 


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