The Montefiore Hospital in Sussex incorporates Brian Eno's artwork


The Montefiore Hospital in Hove, Sussex designed by IBI Nightingale, has become the first hospital in the world to incorporate two light and sound installations by renowned English musician Brian Eno.


The Montefiore Hospital was recently renovated to provide modern medical facilities for Spire Healthcare. Brian Eno's collaboration with Spire Healthcare and IBI Nightingale saw two light and sound installations integrated into the building design.

The first of Eno’s artworks is a reworking of his popular '77 Million Paintings' piece. Between 300 and 400 individual photographs and hand-drawn or computer generated images are processed by a unique software system which selects up to five artworks at random and layers them over one another, slowly fading in and out. These amalgamated images are then framed in an eight-screen grid in the lobby area of the Montefiore Hospital.

The installation is designed to be smooth and it would take over 100 years for the same set of images to meet again in the same format within the picture grid. This visual medley is supported by a soft musical score composed by Eno to relax patients.

Robin Turner, a local surgeon, was instrumental to integrating the Brian Eno light and sound installations into the interior design as part of the renovation.

Before renovation, the building had staggered floor plates, steep internal ramps, fixed service cores and dreary decor. Though a complex architectural problem, IBI Nightingale responded with a remodelling and extension design that utilised progressive construction methods.

From the exterior, the building retains its original charm, with a new glazed entrance to draw patients into the foyer. The extension to the rear of the building closely matches the red facing brick and introduces western red cedar cladding and composite aluminium/timber windows with a mixture of light grey spandrels, white translucent and clear glazed units.

Greeted by an airy lobby with a bamboo framed reception, patients are directed through wide corridors to private consultation rooms. There are 21 stylish en-suite bedrooms on the first floor, each with distinctive semicircular windows to flood them with natural light. The second floor accommodates three integrated laminar flow operating theatres. A chemotherapy suite is located in the lower ground floor, with access to a landscaped courtyard.

The building, which is designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘very good’ rating, features an exclusive staff restaurant and a roof terrace for the third floor administration department. Following in the tradition of Victorian follies, there are also plans for a rooftop ‘beached raft’ hospitality area which will frame views over the city towards the sea and the South Downs.

Throughout the design process, IBI Nightingale maintained the character and features of the original Victorian building, as well, as a hospital with boutique hotel comfort.

The hospital was originally designed by Clayton & Black in 1899.





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