Phoenix Unit
Springfield University Hospital

Hospital Rooms worked in collaboration with South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust to commission museum quality artists including Gavin Turk, Nick Knight and Assemble to refurbish the Phoenix Unit at Springfield University Hospital in Tooting.

Assemble / Joh Bates / Sophie Clements / Nick Knight / Steve Macleod / Michael O’Reilly / 
Aimee Parrott / Mark Power & Jo Coles / Tim A Shaw / Gavin Turk

Our artists worked collaboratively with service users, psychiatrists, allied health professionals and public health researchers to create inspirational spaces that enrich quality of life, encourage conversation, enhance self esteem and deepen ties between people at the Phoenix Unit. The unit is a secure psychiatric rehabilitation residential ward for up to 18 patients who have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Most residents require permission for leave, making the internal spaces and activities extremely important. 

Artists and co-producers took all elements of the units into consideration, from the colour, to the configuration of space, to the artworks displayed and ensured all interventions met hygiene, safety, security, durability and ligature regulations. In addition, we programmed a series of art workshops for mental health service users to illuminate the environments and encourage meaningful participation in artistic activity. These sessions were effective in helping people to acquire new skills, build resilience, find new means of expression and form friendships.

The project was funded by the charity Morris Markowe League of Friends of Springfield University Hospital and Arts Council England.

'Some of the most creative and accomplished people that I have known have encountered difficulty with their mental health at one stage or another.
It seems to me that making vulnerable patients’ environments pleasant and stimulating is of the utmost importance and would be conducive to recovery and recuperation.'

Nick Knight OBE, Photographer, Founder and Director of SHOWstudio.com

“This is an excellent project. Our patients are really enthusiastic about the project, and it is a great way to brighten up our ward. I am pleased we are the first mental health Trust to participate in the project – a well decorated environment will have a very positive effect on our patients' experience, wellbeing and recovery.”

Dr Charlotte Harrison, Consultant Psychiatrist at the Wandsworth Rehabilitation Team, Springfield University Hospital, SWLSTG

“I am really excited by the Hospital Rooms project and really pleased this team of world class artists are launching this project at our Trust. Being involved in a project of this kind is hugely beneficial to our patients and staff and means that museum quality artwork is available to our patients, which greatly contributes to their recovery and care”.

Dr Emma Whicher, Medical Director, Springfield University Hospital, SWLSTG


Hospital Rooms at Griffin Gallery

In July 2016, Hospital Rooms collaborated with Griffin Gallery to showcase a collection of images showing the art installations that were created for the Phoenix Unit alongside artworks made by the service users and staff.

Exhibition: 1 - 12 July 2016
Griffin Gallery
21 Evesham Street
London, W11 4AJ