Josef and Anni Albers

The work of legendary artists Josef and Anni Albers has been installed in the new children’s intensive care unit at St Mary’s Hospital as part of a £10 million refurbishment.

Inspired by the Alberses’ iconic geometric patterns, the charity has worked closely with the Albers Foundation to create a supportive environment for critically ill children and their families. The interior includes; wall murals and prints from Josef’s Homage to the Square series, bespoke bed screens and wallpaper taken from Anni’s designs and several other installations generously supported by the Albers Foundation.

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Photo: Ed Reeve.

The partnership started in 2016 when Nicholas Fox Weber, Director of the Albers Foundation, approached the Trust after hearing of the plan to extend and rebuild children’s intensive care. Anni Albers’ belief that art should be a “visual resting place” and an absorbing source of diversion, and Josef’s constant desire to use “minimal means for maximum effect” are richly realised in the use of their art.

The collaboration has helped to create a warm and welcoming environment during what can often be an extremely stressful time in hospital for families, with bright and positive yellow and orange colours used throughout. The artwork and designs have been developed into this unique interior by graphic design team Sable & Hawkes in collaboration with the Albers Foundation.

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Photos: Ed Reeve.

Nicholas Fox Weber, Director of the Albers Foundation, whose grandson Wilder Fox Smith was born at St Mary’s in 2014, said: “For Anni Albers, abstract art was a source of balance and diversion, a relief from life’s troubles. For both her and Josef, the universal and timeless qualities of rhythm and colour brighten existence as can nothing else, and enable people to withstand some of life’s greatest challenges. With energy and heart, the people at St Mary’s have realised the wonderful transformation of the children’s intensive care unit to an unprecedented degree and my hope is that it will become the benchmark of what can be done worldwide wherever there are children - and the people who love them - in need.”

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Photo: Ed Reeve.