AFRICANA BUILDING

TYPOLOGY: Health care LOCATION: Alemgena, ETHIOPIA ARCHITECTS: GRAFT, RAAS ARCHITECTS CLIENT:  GLOBAL HEALTH COMMITTEE, ETHIOPIA YEAR OF REALIZATION: 2012  CONTRACT VALUE: BIRR —- million. PLOT AREA: 31,200M² Status: Constructed

Zahara is a children’s healthcare center located in a town called Alemgena, 18km away from the capital city Addis Ababa.  This project implemented and experimented a lot with sustainable building solutions.

The design used bamboo rods combined with steel frames for superstructure and roof truss systems. The walls are made of mud blocks, yet constructed carefully and in accordance with modern construction preconditions.

There are three major single-storey circular blocks all having a central open courtyard, made of bamboo structures and low pitched overhanging roofs. The arrangement cascades with the gentle slope of the site and follows the ridge of an adjacent ravine granting good views and optimum capture of prevailing winds for natural ventilation. Covered walkways link the different buildings and intensive plantations and gardens, surround and zone the site. The different buildings serve the varying programmatic functions creating social zones of vital activity, quiet healthcare wards, service and maintenance areas, and linking gardens. Each space is designed in consideration of what children require during their long or short stay.

The largest block, measuring 1,200 sq meters, incorporates offices, educational rooms, OPD exam rooms, pharmacy, laboratory, radiology, preschool, children activities, teen activities, quiet rooms while the smallest has a nursing station, library, bathroom, isolation rooms, children and toddlers room and has an area of 530 sq meter.

The third block covers 580 sq meters and has a doctor’s office, pharmacy, children’s rooms, toddler’s room, isolation room, nursing station, staff toilet, and bathrooms in it.