Josef and Anni Albers’ radiant designs displayed in children’s NHS care unit

Works inspired by Josef and Anni Albers at St Mary's Courtesy The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation; photo by Ed Reeve

Visitors to the children’s intensive care unit at St Mary’s Hospital in London will be immersed in a series of soothing yellow and orange geometric patterns inspired by the artists Josef and Anni Albers. As part of the £10m refurbishment of the healthcare centre—a collaboration between Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Imperial Health Charity and The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation—wall murals and prints from Josef Albers’s Homage to the Square series adorn the walls (he believed yellow was the colour of healing, hence the sunny images in the waiting area and the parents’ room). Bespoke bed screens and wallpaper taken from Anni’s designs and several other installations provided by the Albers Foundation are also dotted around the unit which has increased its number of intensive care beds from eight to 15 as part of the revamp. Nicholas Fox Weber, director of the Albers Foundation, says: “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.”