The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation – in partnership with the non-profit organization Le Korsa – has funded the construction of the new maternity and pediatric clinics of the hospital of Tambacounda, Senegal. The scheme by Manuel Herz – a German architect practicing from Basel and Cologne – emphasized the need to involve the local community, which participated in both the design and the construction process. Keeping in mind the comfort of patients and their visiting families, the new two-story, curvilinear building contains rooms for a total of 150 beds besides communal indoor and outdoor spaces including a children’s playground.
Passive strategies like perforated walls, double ceilings, and walls with two layers of brick address the challenges posed by the extreme local climate and help make air conditioning unnecessary. The narrow, 7-meter bay and the brick openwork of the facades make for cross ventilation and thermal comfort. The roof consists of an outer layer of metal that reflects the sun and an inner one of concrete with a hole producing a chimney effect to expel heat and cool the rooms. In addition, the double walls present a second brick coating to cast shadows on themselves and keep light and heat off the hospital’s skin.