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DWA Architects

Since formed in 1988, DWA Architects have gained a national and international reputation for original, creative design and professionalism. Over the years we have worked on a diverse range of projects, from the smallest of refurbishments through to large-scale developments. We have proven experience in delivering design excellence across all sectors, specifically DWA Architects have an international reputation for expertise in older person’s care, assisted living facilities and specialist care village developments. Our company is built on the experience and passion of our team, their design integrity and creative flair ensures that any job is completed to the highest standards. Our highly flexible and modern approach to design has resulted in us winning a number of industry awards, in recognition of the quality, sustainability and innovation of our developments. We conduct our business with integrity and pride ourselves in being a trusted architectural and design practice.

13 February 2018
Yorkshire and Humber
Arts, Care, Education Sector, Health, Housing Sector, Other, Retail, Schools
Local Alliances:
Yorkshire & Humber Dementia Action Alliance, York Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

DWA Architects continuously aim to enhance the national approach to specific architectural design for dementia and care for the older persons by focusing on the individual requirements of the prospective residents and relaying this back into the architectural design of the development.

This year we have been invited to attended the Pinders Healthcare Design Awards, having won awards for our designs consecutively since 2011. This is but just one example of the recognition we have received for our continued contribution to healthcare industry.

At DWA Architects we believe in a holistic design approach with a focus around creating a “homely” and recognisable feel, which encourages community interaction between residents and staff. We use innovative architecture as a a tried and tested method of reducing indicators of depression and distress.

To help with the transfer of information back into our designs several staff are ‘Dementia Friends’ a scheme developed by the Alzheimer’s Society to allow people to learn more about what it is like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action. We have a company goal of making all our design staff dementia friends by the end of 2017.  

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

A particular challenge DWA Architects face is the transfer of specific design knowledge accumulated within the practice over the last 30 years between experienced and recent members of staff. To combat this, we have weekly Continuous Professional Development (CPD) sessions, as well as a combination of design charrettes and attending RIBA recognised courses. After which the acquired knowledge is cascaded down throughout the rest of our team. This ensures the accumulated knowledge remains within the practice to be used to enhance our design decisions while working on future dementia related projects.

Member website


2. Actions

  • Dementia Friends

    DWA Architects intends on all the design staff becoming dementia friends, as recognised by the Alzheimers Society. We see this being benefical in becoming more educated in how people live with dementia.

  • Specific Related Training

    At DWA Architects we have amassed over 25 years experience working in the care sector. To maintain the knowledge  aquired during this time and to keep up todate with new information we are training staff by enroling them onto specific dementia related design courses.

    Being implemented
  • Fund Raising

    In a bid to help raise money for several charities that are related to dementia we are planning a series of charity events, starting with the Yorkshire 3 peak challenege later this year. We hope this will increase dementia awareness amongst our friends and family and allow the message to be carried further.