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Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners architects win Wellcome Collection commission

26 March 2018

Architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) have been selected to create a new full scale commission as part of Wellcome Collection’s major autumn exhibition, Living with Buildings. Taking over two galleries, this multi-storey exhibition will explore the pivotal role of design and urban planning in human health, considering the ways in which the built environment reflects the needs of society in the past, present and future.

RSHP were chosen from an open call to create an architectural project within Wellcome Collection’s first floor gallery. The commission will comprise a mobile clinic, developed for and with Doctors of the World, in response to the urgent need for effective, adaptable healthcare in emergency situations and remote locations. With combined design and engineering expertise from RSHP, BuroHappold and Chapman BDSP, and a wealth of field experience from Doctors of the World, these structures hold the potential to be the temporary health clinic of the future.

RSHP are an award-winning and international practice based in London. They are known for their work on a wide range of projects, from residential to cultural to commercial as well as educational. Their health-oriented buildings include Stirling Prize winner, Maggie’s West London (2008) and the Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital (2016). They have also designed PLACE/Ladywell, a residential development for 24 homeless families in London. Working alongside collaborators and clients, they are committed to exploring the innovative ways that architecture can positively impact the way we live.

Ivan Harbour, architect and senior partner at RSHP, says “Architecture has the ability and responsibility to improve people’s lives and nowhere is this more important than at times of emergency and crisis. This transportable clinic aims to be simple and economic to build, enabling those in the field to focus on what really matters: the health and care of their patients.”

Richard Rogers, architect and founding partner at RSHP, says: “We are thrilled to be part of Living with Buildings. Seeing the mobile clinic structure take shape at Wellcome Collection in the context of an exhibition about architecture, society and health will be a dream come true.”

Visitors will have the opportunity to see the commission unveiled as part of a ‘live build’ phase, as well as concepts and background research relating to its development and eventual deployment.

Wellcome Collection’s ground floor gallery will house over 100 objects, examining how the structures that surround and shape us contribute to our mental and physical health, in both positive and negative ways. Featuring the work of artists and photographers including Giles Round, Andreas Gursky and Rachel Whiteread, Living with Buildings will consider the perspectives of those who live and heal in buildings, as well as those who design them.

Curator Emily Sargent says: “We are delighted to award Wellcome Collection’s first architectural commission to RSHP. The mobile clinic demonstrates the positive impact design can have on how healthcare is delivered and received across the world. It will form a striking and forward-looking addition to the wider exhibition, expanding the conversation around health and architecture.”

Living with Buildings opens at Wellcome Collection on 04 October 2018 until spring 2019 and is curated by Emily Sargent. The exhibition has inspired a book – Living with Buildings – by bestselling author Iain Sinclair, to be published by Wellcome Collection and Profile Books in September 2018.

For press information please contact: Emily Philippou, Media Manager, Wellcome Collection            T +44 (0)20 7611 8726 | E e.philippou@wellcome.ac.uk | W wellcomecollection.org/press

Notes to Editors

Commission submissions were assessed by a panel comprising: Sadie Morgan, founding director of de Rijke Marsh Morgan Architects (dRMM); Jeremy Myerson holder of the Helen Hamlyn Chair of Design at the Royal College of Art; Vanessa Norwood, architecture curator and former Head of Exhibitions at the Architectural Association; Emily Sargent, Senior Curator of temporary exhibitions at Wellcome Collection and Paul Wilkinson, clinical epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library for the incurably curious. Inspired by the medical objects and curiosities collected by Henry Wellcome, it connects cience, medicine, life and art. Through its exhibitions, live programming, and digital and publishing activity, it makes thought provoking content which aims to challenge how we think and feel about health. 

Wellcome Collection is part of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. Both politically and financially independent, we support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations and spark debate.

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) is an award-winning, international architectural practice based in London. Over the past three decades, RSHP has attracted critical acclaim with innovative projects across Europe, Asia, Australasia and North America.

Doctors of the World UK fights to reduce health inequalities by improving long-term access to healthcare in the UK and internationally. We believe access to healthcare is a human right, but all too often it is denied to the most vulnerable in society, such as refugees, the homeless and trafficked people. We focus on long-term systemic changes, rather than quick fixes.

BuroHappold Engineering is an international, integrated engineering consultancy operating in 23 locations worldwide, with over 50 partners and over 1800 employees including some of the world’s leading consulting engineers. For 40 years we’ve been building our reputation for delivering creative, value led building and city solutions for an ever changing world.

ChapmanBDSP is an owner led business specialising in all aspects of building services and environmental consultancy. We are proud to have delivered world-class projects in more than 30 countries.