Derek was one of the foremost architects of healthcare building and a firm advocate of the original aim of providing healthcare facilities for all ‘from the cradle to the grave’. His critique, ‘Changing Hospital Architecture’ (with Sunand Prasad 2008) traces how the coherent design of healthcare buildings - location, content and built form has changed since 1948 but is a victim of continual change by successive governments.
Derek Stow studied architecture at Kingston School of Art and his first job was as assistant architect on the seaside section of the 1951 Festival of Britain on the South Bank. Soon after, he began the first of several healthcare projects including Wexham Park Hospital, Slough.
He formed his own practice in 1962 with his wife Gwyneth. His portfolio of healthcare projects now included strategic planning, development control and master planning, specialist units, day hospitals, primary and community care.
One project, modular health buildings, started with a prototype relocatable health centre at Poplar and evolved into a patented totally relocatable system. Other important projects included the Royal Sussex County Hospital and Whipps Cross Hospital, culminating in the in the building of Kings College Hospital new critical care centre, operating theatres and joint education centre.
Derek was awarded the OBE for services to architecture in 1979 and elected a Fellow of RIBA in 1968. In 2008 he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award for services to the healthcare environment.