August 2017 – The leading UK architectural aid charity, Article 25, has announced the first supporters and cyclists for its cycle expedition in Myanmar (Burma) in Autumn 2017.
Taking place in November 2017, the expedition aims to raise £50,000 to fund the future work of Article 25 in the area. Taking place over 14 days, the expedition includes 500 miles of cycling around the country from Yangon to Mandalay and back, passing via Yangon General Hospital, which is the site of the charity’s biggest project. During the ride the cyclists will also be undertaking field research into Myanmar’s healthcare system and building local capacity and knowledge.
Since 2015, the charity has been helping with the regeneration of Yangon General Hospital, one of the largest and most important public healthcare institutions in Myanmar. The nineteenth century hospital is a vital resource for the people of Myanmar who cannot afford private healthcare. However, following decades of low investment in healthcare, the building and facilities have fallen into a state of overcrowding and disrepair. Article 25 was asked to draw up a masterplan for the hospital and now has teams in Myanmar and London providing technical advice and guidance on the refurbishment. The charity’s plan includes using local skills to create a long-term sustainable hospital. The reinvigoration was launched by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, The Nobel Peace Prize laureate who chose the hospital as the location of her first public speech in 1988.
The current list of cyclists who will be joining the expedition are as follows:
- Tom Dollard – Head of Sustainable Design at Pollard Thomas Edwards
- Josine Lambert – Project Architect at Article 25 – specialises in humanitarian architecture
- Geoff Rich – Managing Partner at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios - Geoff has a keen interest in design and conservation issues
- Alastair Laurenson – BP Construction Engineer - infrastructure design
- Grant Smith – Photographer
- Peter Murray – Chairman at New London Architecture - background in architecture and journalism
- Rob Cole – Director at Steffian Bradley Architects - specialises in healthcare architecture
- Ruth Edwards – Design Manager - experience in working in Malaysia and Nepal
- Tim Wiseman – Manager at BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment - specialises in sustainable refurbishment techniques
- Chris Dumas – Civil Engineer & Project Manager
- Harriette Warner – Architectural Assistant in Essex - experienced in natural building
- Harry Day – Architect at Grimshaw Architects - higher education experience
- Lee Fox – Architect at Claridge Architects
Geoff Rich, rider on the expedition, for donor Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, said:
“We're delighted to be supporting this important research initiative by Article 25, and we're looking forward to contributing ideas and energy to assisting the development of Myanmar's healthcare infrastructure and buildings.
Riding bikes is a great way to help to understand people and places and I know how cycling with others can help to build important collaborations and working relationships. In Myanmar it will also help to offer a closer experience of the places and communities we'll be visiting. I'm hoping our FCBStudios experience of working in Yangon, dealing with different kinds of existing buildings, as well as our experience of working in developing countries through the work of the Richard Feilden Foundation will be helpful to the Article 25 Myanmar Cycle Expedition.”
The charity is still calling for project partners and additional sponsors for the expedition. There is also limited space for cyclists with a background in architecture, engineering and healthcare to join its team to carry out field research on Myanmar’s healthcare system, local architecture and building techniques.
This expedition is being led by Josine Lambert, Architect at Article 25 and Tom Dollard, Head of Sustainable Design at Pollard Thomas Edwards, who was previously part of a team of architects who cycled in support of Article 25 in the Portland to Portland expedition. In 2013, British riders led by the chairman of New London Architecture, Peter Murray, travelled from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place, London while studying how cities are coping with the increasing interest in cycling. The expedition generated over £130,000 and resulted in the publication of two reports for Parliament and the Mayor of London on how cycling infrastructure in the USA is creating better cities. Through this exciting expedition to Myanmar, Article 25 will also generate a unique research into healthcare, local architecture and building techniques of the newly democratic Myanmar.
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