Texas A&M University College
of Architecture students designed a 1.2 million-square-foot health facility
of the future, with
a little help provided by advisors from the United Kingdom's
National Health Service (NHS).
The 23 students in Susan Rodiek’s and George Mann’s
architecture-for-health studios worked with staff from the NHS
Confederation and the U.K. Future Healthcare Network (FHN) to
research and apply new trends in architecture for health to the
actual design of the proposed Hatfield Hospital for Bedfordshire
and Hertfordshire, located about an hour north of London. The
new facility, with up to 920 beds, will be the only specialized
cancer center in the region.
The students worked in a vertically-integrated studio of third-
and fourth-year students, as well as graduate students — one
which included research, ideas, innovations, programs, concepts,
architectural drawings and models — to produce 13 project
models that were presented by students and faculty to visiting
NHS representatives April 30 and May 1 at the Dallas offices
of HKS, Inc. Visiting from the U.K. was Susan Francis, architectural
advisor to FHN, London and Andrew Geddes, NHS deputy project
director for the Hatfield Hospital project.
Health services in the U.K. are currently undergoing rapid changes
in planning and implementation, as they move toward a model of
more competitive services and patient-centered care. College
of Architecture representatives note a current need for innovative
design solutions that can serve users better and especially that
can minimize the cost of operations over time, which is vastly
greater than the cost of design and construction.
The U.K.'s Private Financing Initiative (PFI) procurement process
for facility construction and maintenance now makes it possible
to build health facilities more quickly and with lower initial
investment by the taxpayer, project designers note. A 20-billion-pound
investment into the U.K.'s healthcare infrastructure is bringing
many new hospitals and "super surgeries" on stream
after years of planning design and procurement.
HKS, Inc. of Dallas and Ryder/HKS International Ltd. of London
arranged the Hatfield Hospital learning opportunity for students
and shared their expertise with the student project teams. Project
designs emphasized sustainable architecture aimed at conserving
natural resources. In addition, project-team members made recommendations
to the NHS for new design concepts and means of delivering health
care in the future.
An advance-group of undergraduate and graduate students led
by Susan Rodiek of the College of Architecture visited the U.K.
in January to meet with NHS officials and learn about the scope
of the project and to visit the site. Rodiek, Professor Emeritus
Joseph J. McGraw and George J. Mann, AIA, the Ronald L. Skaggs
Endowed Professor of Health Facilities Design, co-directed the
studio for Texas A&M.
Students and faculty were advised and given input by Paul Hyett,
past president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (2000)
and director of Ryder/HKS International, Ltd. London, and Craig
Beale, FAIA, FACHA, executive vice president and director of
the Healthcare Group, HKS Inc., Dallas. Ronald L. Skaggs, FAIA,
FACHA, FHFI, adjunct professor of architecture at Texas A&M
and chairman of HKS, Inc., and Joseph G. Sprague, FAIA, FAHA,
FHFI, senior vice president and director of Health Facilities,
HKS Inc., Dallas, were also advisors on the project. In addition
to meeting with these advisors, the students also were given
an audience with Sir David Manning, ambassador to the United
States from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, at which
they discussed their work.
See related story:
Sir David Manning, ambassador to the U.S.
from the U.K. and Northern Ireland, speaks with students and
Sir David Manning with faculty and administrators
of a design by Christine Brodtmann and Jessica Patterson
Detail of a model by J.L and G.
Mike Schoel (left) and Ryan Shutt hold up their
Ashley Groom and Megan Dickerson hold up their
design model for the U.K. Hatfield project
Preethi Srikanth and Krystle Wilson with their