A brand new climate-appropriate hospital clinic has been opened in West Africa for the Josef and Anni Albers basis and Le Korsa
Phrases by Sophie Tolhurst
Photos by IWAN BAAN
Josef and Anni Albers Basis, Le Korsa
albersfoundation.org | aflk.org
Dr Magueye Ba
Extension flooring space
Extension flooring space, together with renovated paediatric constructing
The Tambacounda Hospital is the one main hospital in rural japanese Senegal, treating round 20,000 sufferers a 12 months from the world and throughout the border in Mali, Gambia and Guinea. Due to a undertaking from the Josef and Anni Albers Basis and Le Korsa, the hospital now has a brand new maternity and paediatric division constructing, designed professional bono by German-born architect Manuel Herz.
Herz was recruited following a contest run by the Albers Basis and Le Korsa, organisations which have been working in Senegal for 15 years. The muse was arrange by the artists Josef and Anni Albers in 1971 to additional ‘the revelation and evocation of imaginative and prescient by means of artwork’; to the current day, underneath the management of Nicholas Fox Weber since 1979, it has labored to advertise the Albers’ legacy, in addition to the aesthetic and philosophical ideas by which they lived. Fox Weber can be the founder and president of Le Korsa, based in 2005 to give attention to working with rural Senegalese communities, offering assist throughout tradition, schooling and healthcare.
Earlier initiatives between the 2 organisations embody Thread, a cultural centre situated within the rural village of Sinthian, and an elementary faculty within the village of Fass, each designed by Toshiko Mori. These initiatives, whereas carrying the ethos of the muse, additionally make refined references to Josef and Anni Albers’ practices: with woven roofs, geometric patterns on partitions and doorways – at Tambacounda, the doorways inside the hospital are impressed by a weaving research of Anni’s.
The prevailing provisions for the maternity and paediatric division had been insufficient, as Fox Weber explains, ‘We at Le Korsa felt that it was unconscionable, and pointless, for 3 untimely infants to be placed on a small floor lower than a metre sq. with a light-weight bulb hanging over them, as an alternative of in a correct incubator. Dilapidated buildings, insufficient plumbing and a grim ambiance: absolutely it was attainable to do higher.’
The interior bends of the S form create communal courtyards for sufferers and guests
Herz has designed a two-storey, S-shaped constructing that brings the 2 clinics underneath one roof, offering roughly 150 hospital beds. The bottom flooring incorporates the principle components of the maternity ward and operations unit, whereas the higher flooring supplies extra affected person rooms in addition to the paediatric clinic. Positioned adjoining to the present constructing – now to be transformed to workplace and session area for each clinics – the outdated and new buildings are related by a lined walkway.
Its lengthy hall aids easy circulation for workers and sufferers, and acts because the ‘social backbone’ of the hospital. Alongside the 125m-long hall are assembly locations, whereas the constructing’s kind creates courtyards inside its bends, offering communal areas for sufferers and their guests.
Herz explains that passive local weather design permits for the constructing to effectively work with the challenges of the local weather, Tambacounda being one of many hottest metropolises on the earth. The slender width of 7m allows the constructing to forgo air con, being aired and cooled naturally by cross air flow as an alternative. Mashrabiya-inspired lattice brickwork throughout each flooring supplies photo voltaic shade and facilitates air circulation, in addition to offering a putting visible motif for the hospital. A double roof system, with an interior vault of brick under a sheet steel vault, creates a chimney impact to attract warmth upwards and out of the rooms under, and to repel direct daylight.
Gaps within the 125m-long hall’s partitions permit the constructing to breathe, adapting inside environments to the positioning’s weather conditions
However past offering a much-needed medical facility, the undertaking additionally considers the broader impression it could actually have on the native space. Expert craftsmen and engineers from Tambacounda and the encompassing villages had been employed for the undertaking, with native chief Dr Magueye Ba working as common contractor all through. Herz describes how this was basic to the undertaking’s success, and considerably formed its improvement. ‘This collaborative course of has led to designs that had been stunning, which might be far more attention-grabbing, higher tailored to the native situations and extra stunning than any single-authored undertaking might have delivered.’
Additional components had been: utilizing passive constructing ideas to minimise impression on the panorama, positioning the constructing so its S-curve labored round current bushes, and repurposing supplies the place attainable, reminiscent of utilizing a take a look at facade within the building of a small faculty for native youngsters.
The undertaking has been an essential one for Herz. ‘Designing and constructing the paediatric and maternity clinic on the Tambacounda Hospital has been perhaps probably the most rewarding expertise in my architectural profession to date,’ he says. ‘From the very begin, it has been a course of based mostly on collaboration with the great docs and employees on the hospital, with the wonderful group of the Albers Basis and Le Korsa, and with a superb group of builders and craftsmen round Dr Ba as a common contractor. Constructing in Tambacounda has taught me a lot for my future architectural work, not solely on the African continent, however anyplace on the earth.’
This isn’t the tip of Herz’s involvement within the space: he and his spouse designed town’s first playground to accompany the hospital, and Herz is because of construct extra employees quarters to assist appeal to extra docs to town.
Coinciding with the hospital’s opening, Herz is presenting the undertaking on the Venice Structure Biennale – which runs from Could–November – by means of an set up known as The Many Lives of Tambacounda. It explores the narratives and lives of these concerned within the undertaking, in addition to sharing with a wider viewers the muse’s strategy, which follows a precept of the Albers’ of ‘minimal means for max impact’.
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