MRI, Evelina 1+

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust

Awakening curiosity

In this department patients navigate winding corridors, eventually arriving at a room containing an MRI simulator. We integrated a trail of artworks combined with fun facts and colourful panels in robust wall protection – transforming scary diagnostic spaces into fun, curiosity-filled worlds. 

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Doors opening to echocardiogram rooms feature a range of Arctic animals, with fun facts to calm nerves as children cross the threshold. This also gives clinicians an Arctic-themed ice-breaker to start conversations.

Imagery of life-size polar baby animals playfully integrate with the environment: an artic fox investigates a corner, hares huddle together, and a wolverine stares out inquisitively. As children round the corner they are met with a huge,(yet baby-sized!) bow-head whale, who swims in the largest space available, providing a message of reassurance in the face of worries about the intimidating clinical machinery: you can be big, even when you're small.

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Alongside, fun facts accompany each animal, enticing children and parents to explore, learn, and leave their anxieties behind. We learn that “Antarctica is, on average, the windiest place on earth”, and that “90 percent” of the ice on Earth is found in the Antartic, and that Bowhead Whales can live up to an astonishing “250 years old!” Facts like these will amaze adults and children alike, and this elevates the hospital visit from one of anxious boredom to a moment of shared cultural discovery – more akin to a museum visit or trip to the zoo.

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Praise for Evelina 1+

“There is definitely a sense of shared identity now. It’s a light and bright environment – a really positive space which reflects how we go to work, it’s welcoming and uplifting for staff and patients. The art scheme and colours also help us feel very much part of the Evelina too, even though we’ve had to relocate.”

- Specialist Consultant Nephrologist

Praise for Evelina 1+

“People have said how bright and beautiful it is. Children go around the walls following the images and tracing them. They have used the Evelina colours everywhere which is great. Parents who have come to us before so know what it was like previously say it’s amazing and was worth the wait”

- Matron, Allergy Services

Praise for Evelina 1+

“The work is bespoke, and the themes are really appropriate. The environment makes so much difference to how you feel… it’s so special.”

- Specialist Consultant, Cardiologist

Praise for Evelina 1+

“I feel very special to have been part of the journey. The nurses, they also remember that they were involved… it means we’re able to promote it and talk about it as a particularly special project…. I am proud of it, what we achieved as a team, learning about it and doing it for the first time has been a special experience.”

- – Head of Nursing, Outpatients and Neonatology

This case study is part of the wider “Evelina 1+” project – featuring seven departments incorporating art, interior design, playful journeys, empathetic storytelling, & digital interactions. See Projects for all Evelina 1+ case studies, or for an in-depth look at our process and engagement see here

The artwork has been supported by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, which helps create a world-class environment for patients, staff and visitors at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Find out more at www.supportgstt.org.uk.

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Date 2021

Sector Healthcare

Service Children's, MRI scans

Commissioned Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Trust

Artist Art in Site, Kiriko Kubo

User Group Children & Families

Awards Building Better Healthcare Awards 2021, Winner, Best Interior Design Project – refurbishment

European Healthcare Design Awards 2021 Highly Commended, Interior Design & the Arts