Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow, Scotland

Royal Hospital for Children, in Glasgow, Scotland, set out to update its surgery department with a multiphase renovation, starting with the reception, waiting, and corridors spaces.

Prior to the project, the reception area offered little more than plastic chairs arranged around the perimeter of the room. Working with international design firm Graven (Glasgow), the project team sought to deliver a new environment infused with positive distractions and moments of joy.

That effort begins with a series of large-scale wall illustrations by artist Laura Darling that tells the story of the hospital inspired by stories shared by former patients, staff, and caregivers.

Alluding to the hospital’s rich history, the artwork shows contemporary characters alongside Victorian ladies and Edwardian nurses, among other figures. Additionally, there are 11 animal characters to find, each associated with a different operating theater and used as wayfinding along the corridors.

Completed in December 2023, the reception area also houses a variety of colorful furnishings in playful shapes, as well as benches and seating nooks. The project’s next phase will renovate the department’s 11 anesthesia rooms.