Duncan Finch is a Director of Avanti Architects, and jointly leads the practice’s work in the healthcare sector, as well as delivering a wide range of affordable housing and residential care projects. Since 1981, Avanti Architects have consistently pursued a design ethos committed to the creation of socially sustainable and joyful buildings, places and spaces. Throughout his 23 years at the practice, Duncan has focused on delivering social impact through architecture, driven by a belief that great design should be accessible for everyone.
This ethos is exemplified by Avanti’s award-winning work at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, which was transformed through the implementation of Duncan’s design strategy. The completed project resolves the fragmented relationship between the hospital and the city, and creates a distinctive and therapeutic internal environment. Art, light and colour are utilised to provide a therapeutic and supportive environment for all building users. This design strategy maximises impact within a restricted project budget and scope.
Duncan takes a central role in the design process on all his projects, rapidly testing alternative approaches through hand sketching in order to identify the solution that best balances practical considerations with the need to create coherent, site-specific, and beautiful places.
These projects have included masterplans for several hospitals, and a series of residential care schemes, including for children with neurodisability and for adults with an autistic spectrum disorder. He also engages in wider discourse on design quality within the profession, particularly concerning environments for healing and care, including recently co-authoring the Hospitals chapter in the current edition of the Metric Handbook.