Perkins and Will bolsters Health Practice

Healthcare Design Leader Brenda Smith Joins the New York Studio of Perkins and Will, Bolstering its Health Practice 

Perkins and Will, a global architecture and design firm, has strengthened its New York studio’s health practice with the addition of industry expert Brenda Smith. Now the firm’s New York health practice leader, Smith previously served in a similar role in the firm’s Atlanta studio, specializing in healthcare interiors and medical education projects.

Smith has a long history of collaborating with the Perkins and Will New York team. Notable projects include MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion in Charleston, SC; Dorado Beach Medical Center, the first new hospital in Puerto Rico in 30 years; and five hospitals in Saudi Arabia, including one dedicated to neuroscience and another dedicated to children.

In her new role, Smith will take the New York studio’s interdisciplinary approach to designing healthy buildings and communities to the next level. She’s responsible for connecting the work of the firm’s seven research labs to the daily design and planning work of the health practice, ensuring clients have access to the most advanced strategies, insights, and tools. Ensuring client satisfaction is also one of her priorities.

“I am over-the-moon-excited to join my colleagues in the New York studio—and delighted by the opportunity to work with clients both new and familiar,” she says. “Together, we’re going to create even more creative, meaningful design solutions that improve the well-being of patients and healthcare professionals in the community.”

With over 25 years of design experience, Smith has a unique background. Long before coming to Perkins and Will, she was a practicing nurse in radiology oncology. Later, as a full-time employee at a major pediatric healthcare system, she managed the design of a three-campus replacement hospital expansion, giving her valuable insights into what makes a successful client-designer relationship. As a result, her leadership style is rooted in big-picture thinking and meticulous detail to the patient and caregiver experience.

“Brenda has already had an incredible impact on our health practice firmwide. Her insights and experience will be an invaluable resource for our clients,” said Bill Harris, managing director of the New York studio.

Recent healthcare projects led by the New York studio include the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center Monmouth in Middletown, New Jersey; the MSK Laboratory Medicine Building in Manhattan; the New York University Langone Medical Center, also in Manhattan; the Hartford Hospital Bone & Joint Institute in Connecticut; and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford in Palo Alto, California.

Smith’s award-winning healthcare projects, both built and unbuilt, include the CARTI Cancer Center in Little Rock, Arkansas; The Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina; King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital (KASCH) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and Hamad Medical City Medical Education and Simulation Center in Doha, Qatar.

About Perkins and Will

Perkins and Will, an interdisciplinary, research-based architecture and design firm, was founded in 1935 on the belief that design has the power to transform lives. Guided by its core values—design excellence, diversity and inclusion, research, resilience, social purpose, sustainability, and well-being—the firm is committed to designing a better, more beautiful world. Fast Company named Perkins and Will one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies in Architecture, and industry rankings consistently place Perkins and Will among the world’s top design practices. With an international team of more than 2,700 professionals, the firm has over 20 studios worldwide, providing services in architecture, interior design, branded environments, urban design, and landscape architecture. Partners include Danish architects Schmidt Hammer Lassen; retail strategy and design consultancy Portland; sustainable transportation planning consultancy Nelson\Nygaard; healthcare technology planning firm Genesis; and luxury hospitality design firm Pierre-Yves Rochon (PYR). For more information, visit