Last edited 31 Jan 2021

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RSHP Architect Website

Living with Buildings exhibition


In October 2018, a real mobile health clinic was built for the first time at the Wellcome Collection in London. Designed for Doctors of the World by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) Senior Partner Ivan Harbour and Associate Partner Andrew Partridge, and with BuroHappold Engineering with ChapmanBDSP, the Global Clinic demonstrates how architecture can respond to a worldwide issue in health today.

Visitors will have the opportunity to see the first complete version of the Global Clinic in the gallery which will be deployed for use in a location where it is needed immediately following its presentation at Wellcome Collection.

The clinic has been developed to meet the urgent need to provide flexible, robust structures for delivering healthcare in emergency situations and remote locations all over the world, where tents prove too flimsy and shipping containers too difficult to transport. Independent humanitarian charity Doctors of the World has worked with architects RSHP and engineers BuroHappold with ChapmanBDSP to find an innovative solution. Together they have produced a building made from plywood and constructed using a CNC (computer numerical control) machine. Easy to transport and build, these structures have the potential to be the temporary health clinic of the future.


The Global Clinic was chosen from an open call to realise a full-scale architectural project within the Wellcome Collection’s first floor gallery. It is presented alongside prototypes, as well as concepts and background research relating to its design and development. The work of a group young designers aged 14-19 will also be displayed, including ideas for furniture or tools that could be used alongside the clinic in the field.

The clinic is part of Living with Buildings, a major exhibition which spans two galleries to examine the positive and negative influence buildings have on our health and wellbeing. From Dickensian slums to high-rise towers, and the design principles that have inspired hospitals, health centres and therapeutic spaces, it includes buildings designed by Lubetkin, Goldfinger and Aalto and works by artists Camille Pissarro, Andreas Gursky and Giles Round.

‘Living with Buildings: Health and Architecture’ is curated by Emily Sargent, and runs until 3 March 2019. ‘Global Clinic’ runs until 22 April 2019. The exhibition has inspired a book – Living with Buildings – by bestselling author Iain Sinclair, published by Wellcome Collection and Profile Books in September 2018.


Ivan Harbour, Senior Partner, RSHP said:

RSHP has been given a fantastic opportunity to develop and build a Global Clinic in the context of ‘Living with Buildings’ exhibition about architecture, society and health. Architecture has the ability and the responsibility to improve people’s lives and nowhere is this more important than in a building dedicated to making people well. Our aim has been to create a clinic that is adaptable to many environments, simple and economic to build, focused on patient care and welcoming and accessible by all patients.”

Andrew Partridge, Associate Partner, RSHP said:

“It has been fascinating working with Doctors of the World and how they help people in many different locations worldwide. Developing the design for a mobile clinic with the team has truly been a hands-on experience and has enabled us to push constructability to do more with less. Our design humanises the experience of visiting a clinic and offers climatic and culturally adaptability

This article was originally published here by RSHP on 28 Sept 2018.


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