Two jury panels met last week for the 2010 WAN AWARDS healthcare sector, set with the gruelling task of selecting a short list of six projects each for the built and unbuilt sub-categories. For the first time, this was in association with the UIA. The quality of entries was as excellent as ever, making a tough job of the selection process for both jury teams.
Healthcare has always been a challenging sector, with its proscriptive briefs, demanding functional requirements and ever decreasing budgets but never more so than under the current financial climate. Even so, the wide range of entries for the WAN AWARDS from countries as diverse as Israel and Latvia with buildings ranging from a General Hospital in Boston, to a community clinic in Japan has brought some refreshing thinking to the table; ‘It was good to see entries from such a wide spread of countries, cultures and climatic conditions and of projects of such varying sizes.’ – unbuilt juror Claudia Bloom, from Avanti Architects.
From a total of 87 projects, the juries managed to battle it out as only 12 privileged projects could make it onto the short lists. Some interesting issues came out of the jury meetings, such as plan design: ‘one of the first things that strikes me is if they’ve made an effort to make a narrow plan building, that always gets a tick in the box from me’ – built juror Phil Nedin Healthcare Business Leader from Arup. Another point that was often raised was the consideration of light: ‘what can be universally applied are aspirations for quality of environment, including daylight in every possible working room as a basic human right - as legislated in Germany’, Claudia Bloom.
However, as with all sectors, but possibly more commonly in healthcare there are stringent challenges that architects face when designing a building, and this too was duly noted throughout the judging process. From difficult sites, to tight budgets and also taking native architectural progress into consideration, each project received a thorough assessment. With regards to moving the typology forward, both jury panels were able to find qualities in all projects on the short lists, with the winners pulling these aspects together most successfully.
Another refreshing feedback from the awards is the benefit to all participants, of being kept up to date with what’s happening around the world.
‘What’s invaluable about The WAN AWARDS is being able to simply pull up a grid of images on the screen and immediately see who is doing what around the world in my sector, it's a unique global reference and invaluable as a source of inspiration.’ – unbuilt juror Richard Mazuch, Director of design research and innovation at Nightingale Associates.
Minamigaoka Clinic, Sapporo, Japan (Matsuyama Architect & Associates)
Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa (A3 Architects)
Norra Vram, Norra Vram, Sweden (Marge Arkitekter)
Tseshaht First Nation Health Centre and Multiplex, Port Alberni, Canada (Lubor Trubka Associates Architects)
New Trauma and Orthopaedic Centre at Craigavon Area Hospital, Craigavon, United Kingdom (Milligan Reside Larkin)
CircleBath, Bath, United Kingdom (Foster + Partners)
Palomar Medical Center West, Econdido, United States (CO Architects)
Shenzen Third People's Infectious Disease Hospital, Shenzen, China (TRO Jung Brannen)
The First People's Hospital, Shunde District, China (HMC Architects)
Polyclinic, Split, Croatia (3LHD)
Al Ain Hospital, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates (Faust Consult)
Seoul National University Hospital Advanced Treatment and Development Centre, Seoul, South Korea (HDR Architecture, Inc.)
The winners of both the Built and Unbuilt categories of the Healthcare Awards will be announced in next Tuesday's News Review