Sustainability Champion Robin Guenther Dies

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 chronic 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 progressive healthcare initiatives within the U.S. and overseas, a lot of which have been featured in Healthcare Design and different main design publications.

A number of the highlights of her work embrace the Lucile Packard Youngsters’s Hospital Stanford—the second kids’s hospital on this 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 Middle—the repurposing of a Eighties workplace constructing utilizing biophilic design—in Middletown, N.J.

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

Guenther and her workforce later helped create the Transparency web site, which—along with internet hosting the Precautionary Listing—offers chemical descriptions, information on human and environmental well being hazards, info on methods folks might be uncovered to these chemical compounds, related authorities rules and business score methods, and related constructing merchandise.

Robin Guenther as regenerative design activist

Outdoors of practising 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 impression 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, building, and operations toolkit.

Robin contributed commonly 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.

Trade recognition of Robin Guenther’s work

In 2005, Robin obtained the Middle 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 artistic 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 consider that that type of disruption, in essentially the most optimistic sense, requires not solely design innovation, however (additionally) schooling and advocacy at very deep ranges. We have now to create a unique future within the constructed surroundings.”

“Robin was probably the most empathetic architects I’ve ever met,” says Phil Harrison, Perkins&Will’s CEO. “First via her personal apply, 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 give attention to eradicating toxins, and in recent times she has been in a pivotal function as a frontrunner in our healthcare apply globally. She labored tirelessly and passionately in every part 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 plenty 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.