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Architecture school hosts ‘Architects for Health’ charette

London South Bank University (LSBU) was proud to host the 2013 Architects for Health (AfH) Resident Student Charette Week and Awards supported by the Mace Group.
17 July 2013

This annual event, organised by AfH, a non-profit organisation for architects and others interested in the design and planning of healthcare facilities, invites students from across the globe to compete on an architectural healthcare project, while also benefiting from lectures and seminars delivered by a range of architectural practitioners and clinicians.

This year LSBU welcomed 16 architecture students and recent graduates who had been selected from an international pool of applicants to its central London campus. Five of the participants selected were students and recent graduates from LSBU, and other students came from as far afield as the USA, Latvia, Slovakia and Holland.

Working in teams of four, the participants debated and designed a theoretical Older Persons' Admission Unit, working with the proxy client of St Thomas' Hospital and with the brief to consider the particular concerns presented by designing for people with dementia.

The participants were also able to network with contacts from the major companies who supported the activity, including international consultancy and construction company Mace, and leading UK architectural practices Fleet Architects and Nightingale Associates.

The week concluded with the Awards ceremony, with the award presented by Stephen Hodder the President Elect of the Royal Institute of British Architects, flanked by Alastair Gourlay, Programme Director of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital Estates, and Dr Matthews Williams-Gray, Associate Director of strategic healthcare consultancy at Mace.

The winning team which included two current LSBU students - Sam Cox and Benedict Okundaye - scooped the prize for their design which arrived at a careful balance of public and private space while maximising the St Thomas' Hospital Thames side site with a subtle yet unexpected design proposition.

Jaime Bishop, Studio Tutor in Architecture at LSBU, Director of Fleet Architects and Executive of AfH, said: "London is one of the main cities globally where talented architectural students and professionals come to work and study, so LSBU was delighted to once again welcome Architects for Health to its Southwark campus for its Resident Student Charette Week and Awards.

"The event proved to be an excellent opportunity for students and recent graduates from LSBU and far beyond to investigate a real-world challenge in a theoretical context, while also getting in the shop window for job opportunities with some of the leading names in the sector in attendance.

"Healthcare architecture can be overlooked as an area of quality design and as an area of academic design research, so we're delighted to highlight that it can be dynamic and stimulating, and that hospital architecture is an essential element of improving the health environment for our aging population."

Dr Matthew Williams-Gray, Associate Director of strategic healthcare consultancy at Mace, said: "Mace endeavours to promote opportunity for young people. As such we are pleased to sponsor Architects for Health for the second year. It is an opportunity for students to showcase their abilities in approaching the complex needs of healthcare design.

"Mace understands the role of healthcare environments as having a significant role in managing patients and their complex needs and is happy to support any innovations that improve the healing environment."

Dr Matthew Barac, Programme Research Leader for Architecture at LSBU said: "This annual event builds upon and consolidates a long-term relationship between AfH and LSBU's Medical Architecture Research Unit. The charette innovatively provides a test-bed for investigating design issues - this year the issue of the impact of our ageing population on hospital admissions - that should be of urgent concern to architects and others engaged in delivering healing environments."

For more information on studying Architecture at LSBU, visit the website for the Faculty of Engineering, Science and The Built Environment.