Harplands Psychiatric Hospital Reflective Space

In 2007 I was commissioned by North Staffordshire Combined Health Care to transform a small and rather dingy meeting room into a Multifaith Reflective Space for patients at Harplands Acute Psychiatric Hospital.  This was funded from a grant from the Kings Fund.

This was my initial response to the brief:

In order to create a completely multi faith/reflective space, I feel it is important to attempt to create a truly empty room – an empty space that can be filled by the presence, thoughts and spirituality of the visitors own reflections. Empty though does not mean bare or boring. Using the extensive pallet offered by the air, of the sky, the sun at dawn, of the fresh green grass, of the light reflecting on water.

My aim is to transform the experience of a fairly enclosed meeting room to, for example the experience of sitting on top of the highest mountain or watching the sunset beyond the ocean. Enormous, photographic images of extensive skies will open up this space; the suns setting or rising can indicate direction for prayer. Printed wooden seating/storage will contrast with the perspex panels, wooden oak flooring complimenting the natural atmosphere. Seats that appear to capture cushions of sky, sound-scapes and projections of slow moving sky-scapes will all add to the reflective experience.

The design ended up being quite similar to the proposal, however instead of using projections, I installed a colour changing lighting system behind perspex images of sunrises.  The commissioner requested some kind of storage, so I printed images of flowers and grass onto wood, which was then made into a storage and seating system.


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