September 21, 2023

Robin Guenther, a principal at Perkins&Will and a worldwide chief in sustainable healthcare design, died in New York Metropolis on Could 6 after a protracted battle with most cancers. She was 68 years previous.

Architect Robin Guenther

Guenther was a pioneer within the subject of structure; her work targeted on the intersection of sustainability coverage and well being design. She directed the sustainable design methods of quite a few revolutionary healthcare initiatives within the U.S. and overseas, a lot of which have been featured in Healthcare Design and different main design publications.

A few of the highlights of her work embrace the Lucile Packard Kids’s Hospital Stanford—the second kids’s hospital on the planet to earn LEED Platinum certification—in Palo Alto, Calif.; Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital—which was designed to proceed working throughout catastrophic flooding—in Charlestown, Mass.; and Memorial Sloan Kettering Monmouth Ambulatory Care Heart—the repurposing of a Nineteen Eighties workplace constructing utilizing biophilic design—in Middletown, N.J.

Guenther’s affect on the observe of structure prolonged properly past the initiatives she personally labored on. She performed a key position within the improvement of Perkins&Will’s 2008 Precautionary Record, a public compilation of drugs of concern generally present in constructing merchandise worldwide. The Precautionary Record helped ignite an business motion towards more healthy constructed environments and extra clear product manufacturing.

Guenther and her group later helped create the Transparency web site, which—along with internet hosting the Precautionary Record—offers chemical descriptions, information on human and environmental well being hazards, info on methods folks will be uncovered to these chemical compounds, related authorities laws and business ranking techniques, and related constructing merchandise.

Robin Guenther as regenerative design activist

Outdoors of working towards structure, Guenther was a tireless advocate for regenerative design and impressed  fellow architects, purchasers, and others to be higher stewards of the planet and humankind.

She was a senior advisor for Healthcare Without Harm, a nonprofit that seeks to cut back the environmental affect of hospitals and switch them into exemplars of sustainability, and coordinated the group’s Green Guide for Healthcare, the sector’s first quantifiable sustainable design, development, and operations toolkit.

Robin contributed frequently to CleanMed and served on the LEED for Healthcare committee and was an writer, together with Gail Vittori, of Sustainable Healthcare Architecture, which incorporates case research, essays, healthcare system profiles, and analysis.

Business recognition of Robin Guenther’s work

In 2005, Robin acquired the Heart for Well being Design’s Changemaker award for her management and innovation within the design of therapeutic environments. In 2010, Healthcare Design journal named her the “#1 Most Influential Designer in Healthcare.” In 2012, Fast Company included her as one of many “100 most inventive folks in enterprise.” She appeared as a TEDMED speaker in 2014. And in 2018, she was honored with “Women in Design” awards from Healthcare Design and Contract magazines.

In accepting the awards from Healthcare Design and Contract, Robin had this to say: “My profession has all the time been about disruption. It’s about disrupting the established order. I imagine that that sort of disruption, in probably the most optimistic sense, requires not solely design innovation, however (additionally) schooling and advocacy at very deep ranges. We’ve to create a special future within the constructed surroundings.”

“Robin was probably the most empathetic architects I’ve ever met,” says Phil Harrison, Perkins&Will’s CEO. “First by means of her personal observe, Guenther 5 Architects, and within the practically 15 years since she merged her agency with Perkins&Will, Robin championed wholesome and humane environments. In her early years with Perkins&Will, she developed our method to designing for well being and well-being, with a deal with eradicating toxins, and lately she has been in a pivotal position as a pacesetter in our healthcare observe globally. She labored tirelessly and passionately in all the pieces she did. She has had a big impact on our agency and on many people personally.”

Robin is survived by her husband, Perry Gunther, an artist and psychotherapist; two daughters, Jyllian Gunther and Nicole Marie Palms; two sisters, Lynn Monahan and Sharon Barnes; and lots of nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations could also be made to Circle of Friends for the Dying and Commonweal Most cancers Assist Program.