A hospice for advanced progressively ill children in Weimar wins Architects for Health student awards

AfH Student Health Design Award winner Frank Trautmann

AfH Student Health Design Award winner Frank Trautmann

Winners of the 2010 Architects for Health student awards have been announced. Focusing on the brief ‘designing for death: hell, purgatory and paradise’, architecture students from around the world were asked to view how hospital buildings deal with death.

Despite the fact that the majority of people die in hospitals, death is often poorly dealt within these buildings. The responses were extremely diverse - from a vision of the future where memento mori will be cultivated from cells, to a cemetery for unknown citizens.

The winning project came from Frank Trautmann of Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany who designed a hospice for advanced progressively ill children. Trautmann’s project in Weimar proposes an integration of a public garden and kindergarten, to encourage interaction with the city’s other children. Sponsors Brookfield awarded him the top prize of £1250 and an invitation to return next year as a judge.

The second prize went to Ewan Cooper of London Metropolitan for his Fleet River Burial Ground and City Garden. The third was won by Hayley Moreton, a student at Birmingham City, for her thought-provoking proposal that hospices could be developed in disused pubs.

The shortlist included students from Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Russia and the UK. The judges noted that all three of the winners engaged with the interrelation of the community with the dying, and this particular project ‘burned with that humanity.

The judging panel comprised of a wide range of skilled professionals including medical practitioners, architects, architectural tutors, the sponsor and the 2009 winner, Iseult O’Cleary. She said: ‘I was very impressed with how much the panel focused on the link between humanity and healthcare.’

Panelist Pamela Hibbs, chair of St Joseph’s Hospice, said: ‘It’s amazing that they have the vision to see how it could be…there are so many starting points.’ 

Conceived in 2007, the annual event aims to bridge the gap between the practicing architectural design community and academic teaching. The competition was sponsored by Brookfield and the winners were announced on 26 August at the RIBA in London.

The 2011 briefs will be announced in November details of which can be found at Architects for Health.