Intricate geometries of lattice-like red cement brick undulate through the curvilinear form of the just-opened maternity and pediatric wing, designed by Switzerland-based Manuel Herz, for Tambacounda Hospital in eastern Senegal. The two-story structure adds some 23,000 square feet and 150 beds to the region’s only hospital. Commissioned by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and Le Korsa, the narrow S-shaped extension embraces the existing building (parts of which were renovated) and creates additional courtyards. Composed of mashrabiya-inspired brickwork, it enables passive cooling and provides space for visitors and patients to gather. Keeping the materials and processes local was a priority, say Herz and Dr. Magueye Ba, a physician and the project’s general contractor. For example, using building techniques familiar to the workforce here was paramount, as was integrating regionally sourced materials, from wood and tiles to the sand and cement used for the bricks, which were cast on-site. Herz describes the four-year project, which he will present at this year’s Venice Biennale, as “joyful to build.”
All photos © Iwan Baan, click to enlarge.