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The Evening Standard JULY 16, 2013 - by Ross Lydall
BRIAN ENO TO REDESIGN CHELSEA AND WESTMINSTER HOSPITALS...
...WHICH WILL 'HELP CALM DISTRESSED PATIENTS'
Musician Brian Eno is to bring his "ambient landscapes" to a London accident and emergency department in an attempt to calm distressed patients.
The Roxy Music star, famed for his production work on albums by David Bowie, U2 and Coldplay, has volunteered to help transform the casualty department at Chelsea and Westminster hospital.
A £10 million redevelopment of the A&E will include replacing "stark white walls" with a warmer and quieter environment that is less frightening.
The aim is to replicate techniques in use in the hospital's paediatric burns unit, where "distraction therapy" such as projecting moving images on to walls can avoid the need to administer drugs such as morphine.
Eno is expected to refine the A&E's acoustics and could provide soothing music. He is one of several artists including Mischa Kuball, Steffi Mueller, Matt Pyke and Richard Woods backing a £600,000 appeal by Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity to provide visual and aural features in the new A&E. Culture minister Ed Vaizey launched the appeal at a House of Commons reception.
Eno said: "Music can be designed to help improve the atmosphere and environment for people going through difficult times. I am very happy to say that this wonderful organisation has approached me to do something at Chelsea and Westminster, which I have to say is the nicest hospital I've ever been in. I don't go to hospital much myself but on visiting, I thought, this is really the way we should be thinking about hospital.
"Music can be functional. Art can make a difference to people's lives. It would be wonderful if we could translate music and art to making a difference to people's lives."
Appeal patron Hugh Grant, who lives near the hospital, said: "The charity is working with artists and designers to do clever and cunning things with lighting, with sound and with the design."
The A&E was originally designed to handle sixty-thousand patients per year but now sees a hundred-and-twelve-thousand. The expansion will increase capacity to a hundred-and-forty-thousand patients a year.