Heritage of health within the Twentieth-century Historic Thematic Framework, as part of Accelerated Scientific and Technological Development

This regional seminar is part of the online seminar series "Exploring the Twentieth-Century Historic Thematic Framework in European Context". The seminar is hosted by the University of Liverpool’s School of Architecture and initiated and chaired by Dr. Christina Malathouni.

Centered around Theme 2 of the ISC20C Historic Thematic Framework that embraces “Accelerated Scientific and Technological Development”, this workshop focuses on three subthemes that relate to various aspects of health and healthcare: advances in delivery and administration of public health; development of new medical technologies; and advances in understanding of human behavior and mental health. With examples covering sites of both physical and mental healthcare, in diverse social, geographical, policy, and architectural settings, the workshop aims to open up the conversation around the particular difficulties of heritage relating to healthcare sites and potential benefits of engaging with the ISC20C framework.

Date: December 2, 2022

Time: 13:00 – 17:45 GMT

Location: Zoom Meeting


Introduction to the HTF and the HTF Europe series

13:00-13:15   Welcome and Introduction
13:15-13:40   Introduction to the HTF (video by the Getty, 23 min; this video is pre-recorded and can be accessed independently of the live seminar: Click here to watch
13:40-13:50   Break

Theme 2 Introduction and Presentations

13:50-14:15    Introduction to HTF Theme 2 (worldwide launch of new pre-recorded video by the Getty, c.25 min)
14:15-14:30   “Mental health facilities in Italy: knowledge, conservation, reusing and valorisation” by Professor Cettina Lenza
14:30-14:45   “Pre-existing spaces and extant relationships: remaking healthcare through interior interventions” by Megan Brien
14:45-15:00   Break

15:00-15:15   “Modest architectural designs vs. psychiatric reforms: contradictions in built representations of twentieth-century mental health advances” by Dr. Christina Malathouni
15:15-15:30 “Evaluating the planning and design of early NHS hospital building: a Scottish perspective” by Harriet Richardson Blakeman
15:30-15:40   Break

15:40-15:55   “History and Contemporary issues at the Paimio Sanatorium” by Jonas Malmberg
15:55-16:10   “North-South trajectories in community care and health-care design: Dutch émigré architects in South Africa” by Dr. Nicholas Clarke
16:10-16:20   Break

Theme 2 Roundtable and Q&A
16:20-17:20   Roundtable discussion
17:20-17:35   Q&A
17:35-17:45   Closing remarks and future work

Click here for presentation abstracts and speakers’ biographical notes.

Click here to know more about the seminar series.


Professor Cettina Lenza, Full Professor of History of Architecture, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Italy

Graduated in Architecture from the University Federico II of Naples (1987), full Professor of History of Architecture at the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli (since 2001), where she teaches “History of contemporary architecture” and “History and valorisation of cultural heritage”. She was Dean of the Faculty of Architecture (2005-2009) and is currently President of the Degree Course in Building Sciences and Techniques.
National Scientific Responsible for the PRIN 2008: “Mental Hospitals in Italy between the XIXth and the XXth Century. An Atlas aimed at the Analysis and Enhancement of the Historical and Architectural Heritage”, with publication of the results (Milan 2013).
Vice-President of ICOMOS Italy (since 2020), Coordinator of the National Scientific Committee on 20th Century Heritage and voting member of the International Committee on 20th Century Heritage.
She is author of articles, monographs, critical editions, essays in collective volumes, and editor of proceedings of conferences and exhibition catalogue.

Megan Brien, Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholar and PhD Candidate, Department of History of Art and Architecture, The University of Dublin, Trinity College, Ireland

Megan Brien is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of History of Art and Architecture at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin. Megan holds a master’s degree in interior design from Technological University Dublin and a bachelor’s degree in craft-design from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. A Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholar since 2020, her current research concerns the history of twentieth century healthcare interiors. Megan’s research titled “A History of Interiors for Autism in Ireland 1969 to present,” aims to understand and examine how paradigmatic shifts in diagnosis alongside social and cultural changes in understanding are reflected in healthcare architecture and their respective interiors.

Dr. Christina Malathouni, Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor), School of Architecture, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom

Dr. Christina Malathouni is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at the University of Liverpool School of Architecture. She qualified as an architect graduating from the School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens, Greece, before completing an MSc and a PhD at The Bartlett, UCL, UK. She is a registered Architect with the Architects’ Registration Bureau (ARB, UK) and an architectural historian. She also has extensive experience in the heritage sector, specialising in 20th-century architectural heritage, and is member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC, UK) and ICOMOS’s International Scientific Committee on 20th-Century heritage (ICOMOS-ISC20C). She currently researches the history, and heritage potential, of post-war mental health facilities in England, as well as inter-disciplinary developments that influenced their designs and materialisation.

Harriet Richardson Blakeman, doctoral research student, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

I am currently in my final year of a Ph.D. in architectural history at the University of Edinburgh, researching the development of NHS hospital design in Scotland from 1948 to 1998. I graduated in 1983 with an honours degree in English and Art History, followed by an M. Litt from the University of St Andrews in Architectural History in 1985. From 1988-1990 I conducted a survey of Scottish hospitals funded by the Scottish Research Council. From 1991 to 2017 I was part of the Survey of London team, researching and contributing to the text of volumes on Knightsbridge, Clerkenwell, Battersea, South East Marylebone and Oxford Street. I originally joined the Survey to work on the London end of the nationwide Hospitals project, carried out by the Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England and went on to edit the resulting publication.

Jonas Malmberg, Senior Architect, Alvar Aalto Foundation, Finland

Jonas Malmberg (b. 1974, Finland) is an architect (M.Sc. Arch; University of Oulu, 2002) and an art historian (M.A., University of Helsinki, 2012). Since 2012 he has been supervising restorations and preparing surveys at the Alvar Aalto Foundation. He is a member of the board of DOCOMOMO Finland since 2014 and is a voting member of the ICOMOS 20th-Century Scientific Committee (2018–2026). He was main author of the Paimio Sanatorium Conservation Management Plan 2016 and participated the Sevan Writers’ House CMP (Armenia 2019), both within the Getty Foundation’s KIM initiative. He has lectured various universities in Finland and abroad and co-edited the book DOCOMOMO Suomi Finland – Register Selection (2018). His previous places of employment include the National Heritage Agency, the Finnish Architectural Review, various architectural offices and the construction site of the Museum of Contemporary art by Steven Holl in Helsinki.

Dr. Nicholas Clarke, Section for Heritage and Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Nicholas Clarke is a South African architect and lecturer at the section of Heritage and Architecture at the Delft University of Technology, where he defended his PhD thesis How Heritage Learns in 2021. He has co-authored and co-edited a number of award-winning publications on architectural heritage and conservation, focusing on shared heritage, resilience and sustainable development, including Eclectic ZA-Wilhelmines: A shared Dutch built heritage in South Africa (LM: Pretoria, 2014, co-edited with Karel Bakker and Roger Fisher) and Common Ground: Dutch-South African Architectural Exchanges 1902-61 (Edam, LM Publishers, 2021, co-edited with Roger Fisher and Marieke Kuipers).
His architectural practice focusses on restoration and impact assessment and he is active in ICOMOS International’s World Heritage reactive monitoring and advisory processes.