Wandsworth Acute Unit: Furniture and Glazing

Outdoor Furniture by Freshwest. Wandsworth Acute Unit. Photo by David Butler.Willis Newson developed a public art strategy for the Wandsworth Acute Unit, a new mental health unit on the Springfield University Hospital site.

Part of a major updating of the hospital, the aim of all new development on the site is to create something far removed from the prison-like image of mental health facilities of the past.

In collaboration with MAAP architects, we proposed and delivered a series of commissions for both interior and exterior spaces. These included one-off and batch production furniture and glass designs for doors, screens, entrance areas and lift lobbies.

The resulting artworks represent an effective combination of functionality and aesthetics and will make a long-lasting and practical contribution to the health of the building and its community. 

Artists FreshWest created a welcoming yet secure reception desk, using glass and low levels to allow clear views of staff. Outdoor benches and a curved planter and seat - a hybrid of a living form and functional object – were also created.

Sonia Fabrizia Bazzo’s glass vinyl designs support wayfinding, using colour and abstracted shapes of local plants to highlight key orientation points such as entrances and lifts. All the glass pieces employed the ‘calming and relaxing’ colour range, as recommended in design guidelines for mental health facilities.

Download a case study for this project.

See the photos of the project on Flickr

“ I believe [Willis Newson] did an excellent job for me in finding and appointing the best artists and crafts-people for the work…the final product is excellent.”

Andrew Simpson
South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust