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Sir Paul Smith and The Nightingale Project


06 December 2017

Sir Paul Smith and The Nightingale Project

Sir Paul Smith is delighted to lend his support to The Nightingale Project-a charitable initiative which enhances the environment in hospitals and health centres-by redesigning the interior of an acute adult mental health ward at St Charles Hospital, London.


Founded in 1998 by psychologist Dr Nick Rhodes and freelance curator Stephen Barnham, The Nightingale Project aims to make NHS buildings more welcoming and uplifting, and in this way enable patients to receive care and treatment in a setting that genuinely supports their recovery.


The Project has worked with many prominent artists to create a more welcoming and therapeutic environment for patients, especially in mental health premises. Previous collaborators include Sir Quentin Blake, Jane Ray and Camille Walala. The Nightingale Project has worked across numerous sites within Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, a large Trust with almost 7,000 staff providing integrated healthcare to a third of London's population, Milton Keynes and areas beyond.


Earlier this year, the Project invited Sir Paul Smith to collaborate on redesigning the interior of an acute adult mental health ward at St Charles Hospital, North Kensington. The Project chose to approach Sir Paul because of the optimism of his designs and his enthusiasm for collaborating on projects outside of fashion, such as his Anglepoise lamps or his special edition Land Rover Defender. In accepting the invitation to work with the Project, Sir Paul said he was inspired by the work of Danish artist Poul Gernes, who designed the interior of Herlev Hospital near Copenhagen, with many large abstract colourful mural designs.


Sir Paul explains, "My visit to the St Charles Hospital was very 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."


Sir Paul donated his time and expertise to the Project and created a striped design for the walls of the ward, based on the ‘Artist Stripe', a colour combination that he has used on a variety of clothes and accessories. The painting was made possible by the generous support of Dulux. In addition to the painting of his designs on the walls, Sir Paul has donated a number of framed prints of photographs taken by himself, to hang on some of the newly painted walls.


Dr Nick Rhodes, Clinical Psychologist and Co-Founder of the Nightingale Project, said "Sir Paul's designs have transformed the ward into something unique in the NHS. We are hugely grateful for Paul's enthusiasm for helping us create a more healing environment, and for his generosity throughout."


For further information please contact:


Mike Waddington, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust -

Juul Temnick, Paul Smith


Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
Stephenson House, 75 Hampstead Road, London NW1 2PL
Tel: 020 3214 5756 e-mail: