Holcim Foundation



“How to provide high-level healthcare in rural regions”

Regional Jury Report – Latin America

The aim of the construction, given the medical program, is to provide a warm human scale …
The aim of the construction, given the medical program, is to provide a warm human scale construction while restoring the surrounding natural landscape. The scheme seeks lightness to enhance its relocatable condition. An elevated structure on timber piles provides a secure and dry environment for healing. Natural and recycled building materials were chosen considering local industries and renewable resources to guarantee easy maintenance.

This project is a prototype for temporary rural surgical hospitals. Because of the sensitivity of the equipment and supplies, it proposes a hybrid approach of prefabrication and local construction. Recycled shipping containers are outfitted as the core spaces of the hospital – operating room, pharmacy, kitchen, and laundry – and delivered in situ. Local builders erect wooden piles and place the containers in an elevated courtyard arrangement. Local carpentry is then also used to cover the containers with a tessellated timber roof for shading and ventilation. As the medical center expands, the complex can grow with it. Clinic rooms and patient rooms extend out from the surgical core in a pinwheel arrangement. When the surgical core is relocated, these wings remain as a lasting resource for local public health.

The project addresses an important concern: how to provide high-level healthcare in rural regions. The jury found the solution proposed here commendable. The project was commissioned by a medical organization focusing on the treatment of childhood cancer in developing countries. Their work relies on donations of time by volunteer doctors and equipment from hospitals. Within this specific arrangement, the project was seen to be a thoughtful solution that tries to use temporary medical support to induce long-term change.

Last Updated: June 10, 2017
Article Details
São Paulo, Brazil
Related Information
Related Project
Seeding Health in Nicaragua
Seeding Health in Nicaragua

A pilot project for a roving rural hospital that mixes temporary prefab construction with long-term, local craftsmanship, Masaya, Nicaragua.

Holcim Foundation

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