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Inspiring Design: Winners of Architecture for Humanity's Mobile HIV/AIDS Health Clinic Design Competition

A select group of entries from 50 countries will be part of an international traveling exhibition launching this week in New York City.

by ArchNewsNow
December 2, 2002

December 1st was World AIDS Day, and it seems most fitting that Architecture for Humanity (AFH) chose the day to announce the winners of its Mobile HIV/AIDS Health Clinic design competition. An international traveling exhibition of the winning designs and selected entries opens December 6 at the Van Alen Institute in New York City (information below).


It is estimated that three-quarters of the world’s AIDS population lives in Sub-Saharan Africa; most have no access to lifesaving drugs, testing facilities, or even basic preventative care. One of the major factors inhibiting medical professionals in Africa from treating this disease is the inability to access vast areas of the continent with adequately equipped facilities. In response, the non-profit AFH challenged architects, designers, and medical professionals from around the world to develop schemes for a fully equipped, mobile medical unit and HIV/AIDS treatment center that could not only be used for testing, prevention, and treatment of the disease, but also to disseminate information regarding the virus and provide basic health care services.


Money raised from the $35 submission fee (waived for entries from developing countries), donations, and additional fundraising activities will be used to build one or more prototypes of the winning concepts. Once developed, it is hoped that refined versions of these mobile designs can be built for Africa – and eventually, easily replicated in other regions around the world. "AIDS is a global epidemic which deserves a global response. Architects and designers have shown that by coming together they can make a real difference in the lives of others," says Cameron Sinclair, Executive Director of Architecture for Humanity. "If funded, these cost-effective and innovative designs could save millions of lives." (Funds for building the prototypes are still needed; for further information or – better yet – to make a donation, log onto the AFH link above.)


The call for entries was issued May 1, and by the November 1 deadline, 522 teams representing 50 nations answered the call. An international jury of architects and medical professionals met in New York City on November 22 and 23 and chose three winning designs. In addition, a Founders award and Best Student Entry were selected along with eight Honorable Mentions.

1st Place
Mikkel Beedholm, Mads Mandrup Hansen, Jan Søndergaard / KHRAS Architects - Virum, Denmark

2nd Place and Best Student Entry
Brendan Harnett and Michelle Myers / Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Troy, New York

3rd Place
 Heide Schuster and Wilfried Hofmann - Dortmund, Germany

Founder’s Award
Gaston Tolila and Nicholas Gilliland - Paris, France

Honorable Mentions
Naeem Biviji -
Nairobi, Kenya

ARC Dipl. Architects ETH/SIA/SWB, Beat Wacker, Yves Thormann, Sabine Bachmann, with Werner Horisberger / Horisberger and Nydegger AG - Bern, Switzerland

Juan Salgado, Bernice Pan / JAS Architects, with David Ahmad, Nina Berkowitch and medical support from Dr. Annette Schmidt, Dr. Rory Rickard, Chris Yu - London, UK

James Pfeffer, Leo Tomlin, Nadia Minian /
MKAPC, and Yara Ghossein / MPH - New York City

Takuya Onishi /
Launchpad05 - Tokyo

Jeff Gard /
JAG Design - San Francisco

 Technikon Pretoria Department of Architecture: J.J. Jooste, CG Joubert, Lpienaar, J. Mellis, and Department of Nursing: Dr. L. Maree, Dr. C. van Belkum, Ms. TS Ramukumba, N. Potgieter, I. Tomes, J. Aukamp  - Pretoria, South Africa

Robert Johnson - Los Angeles

The jury included: Kate Bourne, Executive Vice President of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), New York City; Dr Shaffiq Essajee, Director of the AIDS Research and Family Care Clinic, Mombasa, Kenya; Rick Joy, principal of Rick Joy Architects, Tucson, Arizona; Dr. Peter R. Lamptey M.D., president of the AIDS Institute, Family Health International; Toshiko Mori, principal of Toshiko Mori Architect, New York City, and Chair of the Department of Architecture, Harvard Graduate Design School; Dr. Reuben Mutiso, Ph.D., architect/planner and principal of Tectura International in Nairobi, Kenya; and Jennifer Siegal, architect and principal of Office of Mobile Design, Los Angeles.

Exhibition opens on December 7 at the Van Alen Institute in New York City

Van Alen Institute is presenting an exhibition of the winning designs and selected entries that will be on display until January 31, 2003 (closed December 20 - January 7). With the support of Virgin Atlantic and Duggal Visual Solutions, the exhibit is set to travel in 2003 within the U.S. and internationally. Initial dates and locations are being set for Cape Town, Copenhagen, London, and Washington, DC. If you are interested in hosting the exhibition, help sponsor to extend its run, or volunteer services, please contact AFH executive director Cameron Sinclair at

Architecture for Humanity
is a volunteer organization founded by 28-year-old designer Cameron Sinclair in 1999. A registered non-profit organization, AFH encourages architects and designers to seek solutions to global social and humanitarian crises. With each project a new advisory board is assembled based on their individual areas of expertise. For the most recent project, the Mobile HIV/AIDS Health Clinic For Africa, the nine-member board includes Pritzker-prize winning architect Frank Gehry, FAIA; Ambassador Richard Swett, FAIA; South African architect Rodney Harber; Kenyan architect Reuben Mutiso; IAVI Vice President Kate Bourne; Dr. Johannes van Dam of the Population Council; Dr. Sunanda Ray, Executive Director of SafAIDS based in Zimbabwe; and Dr. Michael Sweat of John Hopkins University.

(click on pictures to enlarge)

1st Place: Mikkel Beedholm, Mads Mandrup Hansen, Jan Søndergaard / KHRAS Architects, Denmark

2nd Place and Best Student Entry: Brendan Harnett and Michelle Myers, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York

3rd Place: Heide Schuster and Wilfried Hofmann, Dortmund, Germany

AFH Founders Award: Gaston Tolila and Nicholas Gilliland, Paris, France

Honorable Mention: Naeem Biviji, Nairobi, Kenya

Honorable Mention: Sabine Bachmann, Yves Thormann, Beat Wacker / ARC Architects, with Werner Horisberger / Horisberger and Nydegger AG, Bern, Switzerland

Honorable Mention: Juan Salgado, Bernice Pan / JAS Architects, with David Ahmad, Nina Berkowitch and medical support from Dr. Annette Schmidt, Dr. Rory Rickard, Chris Yu, London, UK

Honorable Mention: James Pfeffer, Leo Tomlin, Nadia Minian / MKAPC, and Yara Ghossein / MPH, New York City

Honorable Mention: Takuya Onishi / Launchpad05, Tokyo

Honorable Mention: Jeff Gard / JAG Design, San Francisco

Honorable Mention: Technikon Pretoria Departments of Architecture and Nursing, Pretoria, South Africa

Honorable Mention: Robert Johnson, Los Angeles

Jurying: a difficult yet inspiring task

© 2002