Staffordshire General Infirmary

In early 1996 the Staffordshire General Infirmary in Stafford closed after two centuries of providing medical services to the town. The striking architecture of the original hospital building, now renovated into empty offices, still dominates Foregate Street, situated in the north of the town.

It was hard not to be struck by the atmosphere of the place. Even in the empty wards the instantly recognisable smells associated with the medical environment lingered. Various objects left lying around are reminiscent of a speedy evacuation; vases without flowers, card bedpans, bath mats and labels denoting appropriate storage spaces for a multitude of medical equipment, names for which seem almost comical to the untrained observer. The striking emptiness of these areas with their abandoned equipment and pastel decor provides all the visual clues to denote a sense of place.