Nightingale's Rainbow

Michael Jones Architects, Aylesbury, 2021


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Nightingale's Rainbow is a lasting tribute to the resilience and community spirit of Buckinghamshire throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

It was built as a way to raise funds for the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust Charitable Fund and Florence Nightingale Hospice charity.

The structure contains over 17,000 tiles, available to the public and commercial organisations to dedicate in return for donations. Alongside the physical rainbow is a virtual rainbow, allowing donors to select a specific tile and leave a message of thanks or remembrance for their loved ones (

At almost 5.6m high and 8.3m long, the rainbow sits on two large concrete pad foundations, it has a steel substructure that was manufactured in three sections and bolted together on site, then clad in colourful mosaic tiles. At night the rainbow is lit using LED strip lighting concealed within the structure ensuring it is brightly lit and unmissable. The immediate surrounding area has been landscaped with a small viewing area and information board.

The project represents a unique collaboration between the client, consultants, contractors, suppliers and the community, with many providing their time, services and materials at hugely reduced costs, and in some cases entirely free of charge, ultimately making this project possible.

A group of children from local schools also assisted with planting to complete the landscaping, securing the Rainbow’s position as an important focal point for the local community and a symbol of hope for all who pass it on their way into and out of the hospital.


  • Begun: Jun 2021
  • Completed: Oct 2021
  • Sectors: Healthcare, Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £65,000
  • Funding: Charitable donations
  • Tender date: Mar 2021
  • Procurement: Traditional
  • CO2 Emissions: 900kg/m2/year
  • Address: Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury, HP21 8AL, United Kingdom