King’s College Hospital NHS FT

Variety Children’s Hospital, King’s College Hospital

The reassuring presence of other children

We designed the wayfinding, interior design, and branding for King’s new “Variety Children’s Hospital”. During our research, we learnt that children would rarely see other children during their visit. Their entire journey and experience was devoid of other families or children, and this was having negative impact on their wellbeing. So we developed a interior design scheme that brings children back into the ward in the form of large-scale photographic portraits of children – all of them patients at King’s.

The children in the photographs play the role of friendly guides: they introduce themselves, point the way to places, offer reassurance and encouragement, and even tell stories and provide interesting insights about the environment.

The children in the photographs cover a wide demographic range of abilities, ethnicities, and genders. No matter how particular their condition, any child wandering the corridors will eventually stumble on an illustration of someone with whom they can identify.

Additionally, we featured fun facts and quirky illustrations, to ensure that children and families stay stimulated, and amused during long waits.

A brand identity centered on family

In our discussions with the clinicians, “family” was the word that occurred frequently. We explored the meaning of family for King’s and developed a motif of interlocking coloured shapes to represent family in its widest, interconnected, sense. These appear continuously in the floor design, the logo, and the wall shapes that delineate the ward entrances.

Date 2010
Sector Healthcare
Service Children's Hospital
Commissioned by NHS Foundation Trust, London
Artist Art in Site
Users Children & Families