Between a new and old building at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London is a secret music machine.
The Lullaby Factory was installed in 2012 and is a concoction of pipes and horns that covers one of the hospital’s old brick buildings. It’s lodged in a courtyard that was created when a new glass building was constructed next door. The older hospital is slated to be torn down in 2028, but Studio Weave designed this hidden sound installation to add discovery and joy for the young patients at the hospital.
You can listen to the music created by sound artist Jessica Curry beneath different towering metal devices, some components of which were salvaged from an old hospital boiler. For those children who are unable to leave their hospital rooms, the music from the Lullaby Factory is available to be piped in through radios.
Know Before You Go
To find it, enter the children's hospital, opposite number 47 Great Ormond Street. At the reception desk, ask for directions to the Lagoon restaurant. At one side of the restaurant, you will find the instruments at a very small deck. They are only accessible through large sliding doors which are open when the weather is warm. In winter you can only look out through the glass, but you will not be able to hear anything. Update July 2017: The pipes and horns are there, but there's been no music for years. Cafeteria/restaurant workers had no idea where or what it was. The deck below is now fitted with patio seating and is protected with netting which obscures the view. A knowledgeable employee said that children are told to whisper their wishes and prayers into the base of the tubes in hopes that they will fly to the heavens. Occasionally the music is turned on for "special groups of visiting dignitaries."