Australian World Architecture Festival judge Ronald Hicks of HDR Rice Daubney encourages young architects to consider a career in health architecture.

Hicks, Principal of Health at HDR Rice Daubney, has been appointed a judge at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards for the second year in a row. 

Observing that it was great to see Australia recognised as a contender on the international architecture scene, Hicks said it was particularly good to see complex healthcare projects awarded for their architectural merit. Being a growing sector in Australia, health architecture struggles to find new talent; this recognition through awards is, therefore, key to attracting young talent into this sector.

Hicks comments that health architecture is going through a transformation with the future expected to see hospitals and healthcare become more integrated with people’s lives as the traditional models of care evolve. The modern hospital already combines complex healthcare, hotel, retail, and airport flow design elements. The trend is for these aspects to improve in their own right, so that a person has access to the same convenience and care with their health needs as they might receive in a retail or hotel environment.

He also notes that the design profile of the health sector is growing and changing, and is an area that is increasingly being recognised by award panels.

Hicks led the winning team from HDR Rice Daubney that won in 2014 for its work designing the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse hospital in Sydney (Winner, Completed Building, Health).

Image: Chris O’Brien Lifehouse hospital in Sydney