Chalkhill Children & Adolescent Hospital

Wallpaper / carpet / tarmac / ceramics design


Chalkhill Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit

Juri worked intensively with Nightingale Associates (Architects) as well as NHS staff and patients to design and implement bespoke wallpaper, carpets, fabric and other surfaces throughout this major new build facility.

The unit is a secure residential hospital for children with psychiatric problems.  In this difficult environment Juri was asked to deliver artwork and designs that would make the environment friendlier and more conductive to healing whilst working within the many constraints imposed by the nature of the use of the facility and the difficulties experienced by its inhabitants.  The process involved intensive collaboration with the architects from the start and throughout.  Workshops were also conducted with patients who were due to use the new unit to explore their attitudes to themes, images and colours.  The result fulfilled both an emotional function in the way it affected the space and enhanced way finding and orientation in a confusing building.

Process and aim of the project

The starting point in addressing the project was the space itself, and more importantly understanding how different users use and experience it.  Consultation design workshops were conducted with patients who were due to use the new unit to explore their attitudes to possible graphic themes and to gain a deeper understanding about their psychological reaction to and sensory stimulation by images, shapes and colours when under the influence of medication.  Through these consultations and research into mental healthcare precedents Juri understood the importance of bringing nature into the environment.


Juri’s intervention was to perform both an emotional purpose in the way it affected the space and a practical one in enhancing way finding and orientation in a confusing building.  This ground breaking project was also to challenge preconceptions about the design of mental healthcare encironments.  The bespoke wallpapers, carpets and fabrics were intended to go beyond decoration to provide a kind of escape for the inhabitants of the unit, who are often confined in more ways than one.  Their function was to act as a portal into an ethereal world unbound by tiresome realities through which the children’s minds could wander.

Location    Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath, West Sussex

Client        Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Completion    March 2009
Architect and interior designer    Nightingale Associates
Arts and built environment consultant    Impact Art