Manuel Herz has been chosen to design the expansion of the Tambacounda Hospital in rural Senegal, conceived and funded by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and American Friends of Le Korsa.
The extension is viewed as an urgent project to address overcrowding in the vital facility, with the demands of 20,000 annual patients resulting in hot, overcrowded communal spaces, and children sharing beds in wards. The Foundation described Manuel Herz as the “unanimous choice” with an approach showing “a mix of visual flair, practical understanding, and profound humanitarianism.”
Herz’s design seeks to improve patient comfort by bringing a sense of coherence to the structure. A curvilinear brick extension will connect to the existing hospital by a covered pathway, referencing the circular typology of the existing building. Housing pediatric and maternity clinics, the new structure will create a smooth circulation route with niches between rooms and exterior spaces where families can rest away from busy hospital wards.
The form and materiality of the scheme have been designed with environmental performance in mind, with narrow widths and lattice-like brickwork combining to aid cross ventilation and air circulation. A second roof covers the primary extension, giving additional shade to areas most exposed to the sun while creating a chimney effect to draw heat away from the interior.
At a broader scale, the extension has been shaped and sited to allow for the least number of trees to be uprooted, with the architects heavily involved in the landscaping strategy to create additional spaces for users and visitors to congregate in shade and comfort. With this emphasis on comfort, functionality, and performance, Herz explains that the design “aims at becoming a model and new paradigm for medical institutions in Senegal and the African continent as a whole.
Construction is due to commence in September 2018.
News via: The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation