LONDON — If you can have a nightclub in a church, why not a cultural conglomerate in a hospital? Dave Stewart of The Eurythmics and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen have just opened the Hospital, a 60,000-square-foot multifunctional center on the site of a 19th century hospital in Covent Garden that they hope will be like Andy Warhol’s Factory. “If we do it right, this will be the biggest cultural bombshell the country has ever seen,” says Stewart, cruising the opening party.
The venue’s seven floors, opening in phases, will include a café and gallery space, which has already hosted a hip-hop exhibition and will show Annie Leibovitz’s music photography next year; a 2,700-square-foot TV and recording studio where Jude Law has rehearsed for “Alfie”; and in 2004, a restaurant, a library and a small screening room. Also to come is a private club with its 800 founding members from the entertainment industry to be selected by a committee.
“The most groovy times in pop culture were when one medium was integrated with another,” Stewart explains. “The Hospital has been created from the ground up so that people can work and play in an environment where they will be surrounded by all this creative and technological intelligence. This will be a real living, breathing, creative community.”