A Yorkshire-based specialist healthcare architectural practice is expanding after opening a new office in London.
Harris Irwin Associates (HIA), which in March won two Pinders Healthcare Design Awards, has taken up premises at Switchboard Studios in Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow, North East London.
This is the practice’s third outpost and will operate alongside its head office in Richmond, North Yorkshire, and its European base in Holland.
Headed up by Associate Director Ian David, the London office is designed to enhance the 35-strong company’s national and international coverage.
In particular it will help further cement the firm’s position as the ‘go to’ practice for healthcare design. Current sector clients include Barchester Healthcare and Cinnamon Care Collection.
Harris Irwin Director Mike Irwin said: “We are delighted to have been able to open a new office in London under Ian’s stewardship.
“He has over 15 years’ architectural experience in London and the South East and has delivered a number of complex, design-led projects, including listed buildings and heritage buildings.
“Having a presence in the capital will enable us to further enhance our response times as we deliver projects across the UK.”
In the last six years alone, Harris Irwin, which was founded in 2005, has delivered 23 major residential care projects, with 16 currently on site. It is also overseeing planning on over 30 other care schemes.
Examples of schemes completed include Albany Meadows, an extra care village in Solihull, which was the winner of the best independent living scheme at this year’s Pinders Healthcare Awards, and Brockington House, Hereford, which was named best new care home at the same awards.
Mike added: “Almost 80% of our work is through repeat commissions from clients in the healthcare sector, so we’re very proud of our work in this field, and with the opening of the London office, we are planning to further grow this side of the business in the coming years.”
The Coronavirus pandemic has also led Harris Irwin to look at new ways of designing schemes in a post-Covid-19 world.
Mike added: “One of the reasons we opened an office in Holland was to tap into, and take inspiration from, the way the Dutch are leading the way in housing for older people.
“One of their successful models involves having care homes which are grouped into households which reinforce the sense of home but also provide people with more individual and bespoke spaces within this environment. , for example, a small group of bedrooms immediately adjacent to their own living room and dining space brings with it a true sense of familiarity and normality.
“With Covid-19 now forcing us all to look at all things in a different way, Harris Irwin are actively working with operators in the development of new design solutions with the individual residents needs and quality of environment at the very forefront of our minds.”