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Sculptural Pipes Play Secret Lullabies To Entertain Hospital Patients

A children's hospital brings sound and architecture together to create a 'secret world' for sick kids.

Plus Aziz
Plus Aziz on March 11, 2013. @plusaziz

The Lullaby Factory is a sound art installation sitting in the back courtyard of London’s Great Ormand Street Hospital, which provides medical services to children and teenagers. The installation builds on an existing series of drainage pipes and repurposes a boilerhouse from the hospital to develop a ‘secret’ audio-playground for the young patients. This architectural soundtrack was composed by sound artist Jessica Curry, who worked alongside architects Je Ahn and Maria Smith to make this installation come to life.

The Lullaby Factory upward view

The building’s pipes have been augmented with various copper, silver, and bronze coatings to create an engaging alternative universe to peer into. Each pipe plays a different lullaby, which can be heard if someone puts their ear to the pipes that extend to the courtyard. The music is also hosted on a radio frequency, enabling people with radios to tune in.

Aesthetically the Lullaby Factory is a mix of an exciting and romantic vision of industry, and the highly crafted beauty and complexity of musical instruments…[the installation] consists of two complimentary elements: the physical factory that appears to carry out the processes of making lullabies and the soundscape.

The Lullaby Factory was conceptualized and built by Studio Weave. We encourage to visit the project’s page for a closer look at sketch work. The sketches detail a fictional narrative the architectural studio developed to create a absorbing mythological backdrop to the installation.

Studio Weave

Lullaby Project

Thinking...