Monday, 15 April 2024
Monday, 15 April 2024

Architectural practice offers free help to frontline services

LONDON-based firm, WindsorPatania Architects, is rapidly repurposing its team to provide free services to frontline organisations, in the UK and beyond, in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

With 95% of employees being of Italian descent, COVID-19 has had a very real impact on everyone in the company. Accustomed to taking on at least one pro bono project each year, the team is keen to help.

Across the country, hospitals, care homes, hotels, hostels, schools and more are working around the clock to repurpose buildings to accommodate social distancing and ensure self-isolation is possible. WindsorPatania’s Ryan Windsor and Giovanni Patania decided to use excess capacity within their architectural firm to provide free design and layout optimisation services, along with infographics design, and translation services.

Giovanni Patania, RIBA Architect and Partner, WindsorPatania Architects, said: 

“With many of our team being of Italian origin, the company is well aware of the immense challenges that healthcare providers face. The UK will hopefully avoid some of the scenarios we’ve heard about in Italy. Needless to say, our team is extremely motivated to contribute where we can.”

Free layout services

WindsorPatania is offering free design layout services to help organisations create the social distancing and isolation space needed to cope with the pandemic. These may be for hospitals to find space to accommodate escalating cases, emergency treatment centres needing to optimise the number of patients they can assist, or hotels and hostels looking to repurpose as safe facilities for the homeless.

Free graphic design services

Utilising all of the skills the team has to offer, the company is also providing free graphic design services—from infographics and flyers to digital content—to enable healthcare organisations and charities to communicate with members, stay in touch with their audiences, and promote government guidelines.

Free translation services

The six-strong team at WindsorPatania speaks five languages—English, Italian, Dutch, Spanish and Filipino—and is therefore also offering a translation service for crisis-related communications.

Layout service case study

The design layout service has already been put to good use to repurpose a youth hostel in Barcelona. With all tourism services closed in Barcelona, the owners of the Sweet BCN Youth Hostel in the centre of Barcelona have worked with charity Homeless Entrepreneur and Windsor Patania Architects to provide sleeping accommodation to homeless people since 14th March 2020.

To ensure the necessary social distancing, WindsorPatania has redesigned the dormitories and dining area, using new layouts and panel room-dividers. These have all been designed and built to be temporary and removable as the pandemic recedes. The dormitory-style hostel, which normally accommodates up to 32 guests, currently provides living quarters for 18 homeless people. The scheme will offer continued residence as the situation de-escalates, remaining dedicated to homeless people after COVID-19.

Ryan Windsor, Partner, WindsorPatania Architects said:

“This is a time to come together. To show solidarity and support frontline services and workers where we can. As an architectural practice, optimising layouts of spaces and buildings is where we can contribute. It’s as much, but also the least we can do.”

If you or someone you know works for a frontline service in urgent need of architectural and/or graphic design services, or you know of buildings potentially suited to being repurposed, please contact Ryan at or call 020 301 1297. Find out more at


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