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Mental health ward gets a makeover from designer Paul Smith

Fashion designer lends his expertise to create ‘positive, comforting environment’ for patients and staff at London hospital ward, as part of the Nightingale Project

Fashion designer Sir Paul Smith has helped redesign the interior of an acute adult mental health ward.


Sir Paul Smith has added his colourful ‘Artist Stripe’ design to a London hospital ward. Picture: Dan Weill Photography

The ward, at St Charles Hospital, London, features a striking striped design based on the ‘Artist Stripe’, a colour combination that Sir Paul has used on a variety of clothes and accessories. 

As well as adding his designs to the walls, Sir Paul has donated a number of framed photographs taken by him, which will be hung on the ward.

Improving environments

His design is in support of The Nightingale Project, a charitable initiative to enhance environments in hospitals and health centres across the NHS.

The project was founded in 1998 by clinical psychologist Nick Rhodes and freelance curator Stephen Barnham.

Previous collaborators include cartoonist Sir Quentin Blake, illustrator Jane Ray and artist Camille Walala.

‘A comforting place to be’

Sir Paul said: ‘My visit to the St Charles Hospital was humbling. As with many hospitals it had a very utilitarian interior, which I know is necessary for many reasons.

'After a lot of consideration, I came up with the idea of introducing some of the colour and print that’s so central to my designs. I don’t want to underestimate the challenges faced by the patients on the ward, but hope that it’s a more comforting place to be. 

'In addition to the patients, I hope it will be a positive environment for the staff whose work is so important.'

Nightingale Project co-founder Dr Rhodes said: ‘Sir Paul’s designs have transformed the ward into something unique in the NHS.'


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