H+A launches to service growing demand for healthcare and hospitality sectors

Boutique consultancy to offer a range of services to take projects from feasibility to commissioning

H+A has just opened its doors in Dubai and claims to be the first healthcare and hospitality-specific architecture firm in the city. The multidisciplinary aims to provide advisory, architecture, interior and landscape design services.

According to a statement, the firm aims to function as a ‘beginning-to-end’ solution provider covering feasibility to commissioning, with a focus on delivering quality designs that focus on the guest and patient experience.

Stas Louca, managing director and founding partner, will lead the healthcare division of the business, while design director, David Lessard, will oversee the hospitality department. The partners will also work together on projects incorporating elements of both disciplines.

“This next career step made complete sense to me, having previously worked in the UK, New Zealand, Canada, Africa, Australia and Singapore and most recently having worked at the very top level of architecture in Dubai for over four years. The basis for the H+A inception is a mission to bring the Middle East a specialised firm that can service both our healthcare and hospitality clients with a team of experts in their respective fields. There are clear synergies between healthcare and hospitality projects and our practice will explore ways to promote healing and wellness through design,” said Louca.

Figures from MENA Research Partners predict that private healthcare across the GCC region will expand 8.7% annually to reach $94bn by 2021. In addition, 73% of existing luxury hotel stock and 61% of the GCC’s current luxury pipeline is expected in the UAE, according to data released ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2018. The global luxury travel market is also predicted to increase at a CAGR of 6.5% up to 2022, reaching a value of $1.154bn.

“We feel the region is ready for a firm specialised in hospitality design. One that truly understands luxury and lifestyle with a broader knowledge of how hotels function and operate. We understand the importance of the guest experience and are increasingly seeing a push towards well-being. Luxury and comfort are now synonymous; with wellness resorts becoming increasingly popular, globally. We will be looking at implementing what we know about hospitality design into healthcare and vice versa, so our leadership team reflects these skillsets,” Lessard explained.

Louca concludes: “Industry shortcomings are abundantly clear and we are determined to eradicate recurring issues faced by some clients. Healthcare requires an entirely unique set of skills as an architect and designing as an expert that doesn’t cut corners in this sector is crucial. This is healthcare and people’s lives are ultimately on the line – it’s not simply a question of quality versus cost. Couple that with what we now know about the environmental impact on healing, and hospitality integration is a natural progression.”

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