Project Slideshow

Artwork for new Cardiac Centre

What's the project then?

The commissioning and installation of various original artworks and sculpture to complement a new £26m Cardiac Centre.

How was it funded then?

The scheme was funded as part of the overall capital budget.

What did Studio Mode do then?

We were appointed to lead the arts commissioning project from inception through to completion on site. We devised a public art strategy which was shaped by close consultation with patients, visitors and staff. The shared vision was to commission original artworks which would provide colour, interest and enhancement to the hospital environment as a whole, as well as support wayfinding throughout the new building. In the early stages of the project, we worked closely with the building design team and clinical staff to gain a clear understanding of the space planning and how the new building would function clinically. We consulted with staff from each new department and liaised with patient user groups to build a picture of typical patient pathways. Our approach was to; introduce eye-catching and colourful artworks in transient spaces to assist with wayfinding and orientation, incorporate calming and absorbing work into wards, treatment areas and scanning suites, and install large-scale sculpture in the external courtyard to act as a focal point and conversation piece to encourage social interaction. The consultation exercise was a key component of our strategy as it enabled staff, patients and visitors to help select the type and style of artwork for the different departments within the new centre.

We then commissioned eight professional artists, carefully briefing them to produce a range of artworks which, as a collective, delivered the strategic vision. The resulting works include intricate hand painted silk textile pieces, delicate painted watercolours, calming land and seascape paintings, colourful acrylic and metal wall sculptures, vibrant floral photographic artworks, bold acrylic paintings and striking modern sculpture combining wood and metal elements.

Any tricky bits?

None. Early in the planning stage, we liaised closely with the building’s designers, hospital’s infection prevention team, fire officer and safety advisors to design out potential risk, allowing us to develop a material specification which would meet with the hospital’s stringent requirements regarding durability, cleanability and safety. This ensured that the resulting artworks spectacularly enhanced the therapeutic environment without compromising the effectiveness of the clinical environment.

Any good then?

Certainly. We have received really positive feedback about the artwork. Patients tell us what a lovely surprise and delight it is to see all the colourful art around the place. Staff assert that the artworks in the patient clinical areas not only enhance their working environment but also act as an effective distraction aid used to help calm anxious patients. Overall, the scheme delivered an interesting and appealing mix of artwork. We put the ‘art’ into 'heart'!

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