2016 and Beyond

Improving patient and staff environment with art and design commissioning for RUH new builds and refurbishment



RUH Art and Design manager Hetty Dupays is working closely with IBI Interior Designer Lynn Lindley to create an overarching scheme that will combine the classic and contemporary, creating crisp clean lines combined with the warmth of colour seen in the Bath stone.

Long views and short glimpses through the space are directed through perforated interior walls allowing us to incorporate museum items/current collection pieces into the space. Entrances and waiting areas for both Rheumatology and Therapies will be key places to include elements of The Mineral Hospital’s heritage as well as Bath’s connection with the thermal healing waters.

These will take the form of Cabinets of Curiosity, feature wallpapers and interpretations of key architectural features using vinyl manifestations for glass.

We also propose an artwork installation that can weave around the corridor walls leading to the Therapies Pool depicting the discovery and source of thermal waters and its geographical and historical journey as a visual timeline.

Colour will be an important element of the interior design scheme, using paint, coloured or decorative resin wall panels and lighting to create a fitting ambience in each area of the building.

Wayfinding will be included in the brief and many of the elements of the interior scheme described above will aid the patient journey naturally and we will also look at innovative use of wall and floor graphics.

We will also be involved in external design features including sculpture. There will be several landscaped gardens creating tranquil areas for patients, carers and staff can relax.

All proposals will need to go through a rigorous design process to include further research, testing and costing before we take the next step towards implementing.


A New Multi Faith Centre 

The new Multi Faith Centre is an exciting opportunity to develop the work of the chaplaincy service and offer a special place for quiet reflection for all.

The Chaplaincy Team aims to provide pastoral and spiritual care to people of all faiths or none, respecting each person’s integrity, belief and need.

The new Multi Faith Centre will offer 24 hour access and include a space for anyone to come and sit, think or/and pray. The books of remembrance for both adults and babies will be set aside in a designated area along with a book for people to write their own prayers and thoughts.

The Multi Faith Centre will also offer a beautifully designed courtyard garden with restful planting, seating and as its focal point a unique sculpture. The new Multi Faith Centre will be very accessible and located on the crossroads of Zone C&D on the ground floor.

‘Wake up Sleeping’ sculpture by Chris Buck that will be installed in the Multi Faith Centre Garden

Existing Stain Glass Window







In October 2015, the RUH started work on the construction of our new pharmacy facility. This marked another milestone in the Trust’s Fit for the Future programme, as we work to transform our estate and further improve the services we provide.

Staff moved in to the new Pharmacy building in early 2017.


New location, improved facilities, future focused…
The project team worked closely with staff and pharmacy users during the design process, to make sure our new pharmacy best meets the needs of patients and staff. As part of this process Art at the Heart led consultation workshops with staff to gage their impressions for suggested colour schemes to include feature walls, flooring, impact panelling and furniture. This is a very sterile area but we want to try and soften the internal working areas with sensitive and imaginative additions of colour and also art.

Part of the AATH ran a series of workshops with staff as well as thoughts towards an arts
commission, which staff agreed should relate to the natural world and Pharmaceutical
Research. This led to a commission with artist Dr Michele Whiting, whose suite of four drawings represent aspects of current research at Bath University with plants including the daffodil, as points of departure. Dr Whiting was supported by Dr Sarah Bailey, Prof Stephen Husbands, and Dr Lorenzo Caggian, Researchers at the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology at Bath University.

The finished building is bright and airy; it has a contemporary feel with accents of colour for walls and floors. The large scale series of artworks will add a unique asset to the department.

Pharmacy Artworks

Laboratory Drawings: Works on Paper 150cm x 100cm by Dr Michele Whiting


PET/CT: RUH Radiography Department

A PET/CT scanner has been installed within a purpose built suite encased with lead lined walls within the Radiography Department. This facility will transform cancer diagnosis at the RUH as well as diagnosing dementia conditions including Alzheimer’s.

The environment needeKaty McIntyre Brown-1d to be carefully designed for that the patient as it can be a stressful experience for a patient to go through. We commissioned a series of bespoke vinyl wallpaper designs by Katy McIntyre Brown for each Patient Bay to coordinate with the feature wall colours and they were designed purposefully not to be too ‘busy’ in order to minimise brain activity and not over stimulate the patient.

They have to wait in a side bay on their own for an hour prior to the scan and it’s important to remain relaxed and very still in order for the procedure to work effectively. The individual colour and wallpaper design for each Bay also helps the patient to navigate to and from the scanner room unaided.


A six 6 panelled lit ceiling by Sky Inside UK was installed above the PET CT scanner adds another dimension to the room and helps to distract the patient whilst undergoing their scan. Including artwork into the design, such as these wallpapers and the sky ceiling has been shown to improve the patient experience by alleviating anxiety and stress and acting as a distraction. Staff and patients alike are amazed that the whole department, lined with lead brick, could exude such a gentle and comforting aura.


Teenage Chill Out Room

In 2016 The Children’s Ward raised funds for a Teenager’s Chill Out Room and Art at the Heart created mood boards and consulted with young patients and ward staff, resulting in a bespoke design including colour scheme for walls, flooring, artwork and furnishings to meet their wishes. Graffiti Prints generously donated a signed LE print by graffiti artist Martin Watson, adding a unique edgy and contemporary ambience to the room. IT and gaming equipment was also installed and is now being used by teenagers on the ward on a daily basis.

Teenage Chill Out Room



Innovative design is the key to creating a welcoming and exceptional environment for patient care. The Forever Friends Appeal aims to raise a total of £250,000 for art to create a truly pioneering Cancer Care Centre that complements the existing high quality care for patients at the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH).

Art at the Heart  will ensure that there is a clear art and design strategy for the new Cancer Care Centre. Art takes many forms, and in this instance can include integrally etched windows that could act as screens, a clever use of light and colour to brighten waiting areas, small gardens, as well as stunning pieces of artwork. In addition the hospital’s art charity hopes to include stand-out sculpture, using the landscape as an integral part of the project.












AATH have already built quite a strong collection of artworks for the new Cancer Care Centre; including ‘Brass Monkey’ by Bruce Munro, which is a vibrant light installation that will be incorporated into the building’s landscape design.

The overall aim is to create a truly holistic healing environment, connecting the outside to the inside, capturing light into the building through glazing and layout, and to maximise views enhancing the whole hospital environment. Understanding the benefits of adding greenery into a built environment to help improve health is not a new concept. Taking on board this knowledge, the proposal is that landscape takes centre stage, driving the design both externally and internally.

The Royal United Hospitals Bath has been here for the people of Bath for generations. It owes its existence to the generosity of the community it serves, and the contributions of that community remain as important as ever. If you would like to support the arts fund or are interested in finding out how you can get involved, The Cancer Care Centre Wish List is now available by request on 01225 824987 or email hetty.dupays@nhs.net