15 Artists Made This British Children's Hospital An Absolute Wonderland — PHOTOS

Hospitals don't exactly have a "party on" kind of reputation—especially children's hospitals. As a general rule, everything is starched white bright and smells of rubbing alcohol. Hospitals are the definition of sterile—which, sure, given health needs, etc., is understandably mandatory—but dang, that can make for one depressing environment. A lot of people have dreamed up and put into action various attempts to lighten up the typically bummer atmosphere: Some child patients get to bring along their furry friends to keep them company during surgery. Sometimes celebrities pull monstrously philanthropic moves and pay visits either as themselves or as their famed characters. However, The Royal London's Children's Hospital took a more lasting approach to making the facility a less stark place.

Vital Arts, a charity aiming to bring arts to the healthcare community, funded the whole project. It took a few years successfully organize the 15 artists' efforts to beautify the medical center. Artists didn't stop at just painting hand-stamp murals—pshh, nope. Mixed materials like vinyl, wood, ceramics, and textiles came into play to create a series of complex, gorgeous vibes. Now, a wonderland of forests, creatures both real and imagined, and abstract designs decorate the hospital. To say the push effectively livened up the joint is a gross understatement.

Images Courtesy Of: Jess Bonham

Morag Myerscough, Trauma and Gastroenterology Ward

The London native saturated her wing in vibrant geometric patterns. Myerscough says she likes “to be brave with color,” and, well. It shows. She says about her work with the hospital specifically, “The piece has a huge amount of references that had been embedded in my memory for many years and came out all together at one time. So there are elements of circus, organic, Art Deco, Asian culture, Victorian architecture and the list goes on so a real mash-up that came out of my head onto paper and then onto the walls. The whole aim of the piece was to make a ward that would help to bring some joy to the young patients and parents with color and some fun that would be warm and welcoming.

Donna Wilson, Hematology Ward

Wilson built her reputation as an artist through soft sculpture. She used a similar aesthetic to breath life into her slice of the space.

Wilson says taking part in the project has been especially rewarding for her. She elaborates: “One of the most important things for me was to make the hospital not feel like a hospital. I wanted the patients, parents and nurses all to feel relaxed, happy and stimulated by the environment that surrounds them and by using design you can lift the mood and well-being of the people there.”

Chris Haughton, Pediatric Assessment and Short Stay Unit

Haughton manipulates rich jewel tones and infuses an animated quality to the critters he created. In his designs, he swapped out room numbers and opted instead to assign each room an animal. So instead of Room 27, a child could be staying in The Lion’s Room. Rawr!

Miller Goodman, Respiratory Ward

The designing duo Miller Goodman (comprised of Zoe Miller and David Goodman) used mostly wood in crafting their masterpiece. They say: “Wood is a traditional warm medium that soulfully ages softening with play. It is traditional and always evokes childhood memories of play. We hope that the mix of bright vinyl colors and wooden characters encourages and entertains the child as well as wishes them a speedy recovery.”

Katharine Morling, Elevator Lobbies

Here is one badass ceramist. She describes her own artistic journey: “My searching is never complete; each piece is a journey for answers that are only hinted at, with more questions.”

Ella Doran, throughout the hospital

Doran uses textiles to create captivating curtains and other room partitions. “A seminal moment for me was when a three-year-old girl stopped crying the moment she saw the curtains, pointing excitedly to the hidden cats and rabbits,” she says. “That’s when I knew my design had worked.”

Tord Boonjte, Pediatric Critical Care

Boonjte typically stick to designing products, but as it turns out, has quite the knack for the task at hand, using 3-D laser-cut images among other materials.

Cottrell and Vermeulen and Morag Myerscough, Activity Space

These three artists came together to stitch a really unique, captivating play area for the kids. Seriously, this looks like it belongs in Willy Wonka’s Factory. Are adults allowed to hang out here, too? (Please say yes.)