In the back courtyard of the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London, there is a secret, magical collection of pipes, horns, and instruments. Designed by Studio Weave, the Lullaby Factory is hidden inside of the hospital and only visible to the young patients. The project transformed a rather unappealing view of the landlocked space between two buildings. Rather than hide the myriad of drainage pipes, the firm added its own contraptions up and down the ten story building. Music composed by sound artist Jessica Curry sends songs throughout the installation, soothing souls while bodies recover.
Turning unappealing architecture into a multi-sensory installation, Studio Weave ingeniously created a secret world only the patients and hospital staff can see and hear. The multi-phased redevelopment of the Great Ormond Street Hospital had left a courtyard full of exposed masonry and pipes. Taking a cue from the already existing structural elements, the studio crafted an enchanting landscape of shining sound-makers. Large windows look out onto the fixtures, and the music can be heard through either a radio station or special listening pipes near the canteen. Their design incorporates old tap and gauges (as shown in the photograph above) that were “reclaimed from a hospital boilerhouse that was in the process of being decommissioned.”
Studio Weave even created their own backstory for the history of the Factory’s origins, proudly stating that it was founded in 1852 and is the oldest continually operating Lullaby Factory in the world. Sending songs to Sleepies in the hospital and beyond, the narrative encourages children to enjoy their stay and to take advantage of the complimentary nap at the end of the tour. Each ingredient of a lullaby has a special name and function, and the process of creating the music is humorously explained through their descriptions of the manufacturing manual. Reminiscent of a Roald Dahl or Dr. Seuss book, the incredible Lullaby Factory transports children away from their illness and into a dreamy, fantastical realm.
via Design Taxi