Building a Campus
With the Masoro Health Center we wanted to design a place that performed as a campus - a collection of interior and exterior spaces and programs that offer a diversity of experiences - rather than an institution. We also wanted to create a place that acknowledges and works with its landscape, taking advantage of its topography, vegetation, and climate. Our solution was to imagine interior rooms, exterior spaces, pathways, ramps and steps as all being organized and structured around a series of parallel retaining walls. This creates a series of different spaces that vary in size and configuration, yet flow between each other so that the campus feels connected and accessible to everyone.
Health Care means more than treatment. It includes education, prevention and maintenance. This holistic vision of health is fundamental to the Masoro Health Center. By integrated meeting spaces, auditoriums, washing stations, demonstration kitchens, play grounds, consultation rooms, information offices, and health gardens into the conventional program of screening clinics, treatment facilities, and patient rooms, the Masoro Health Center is a place that create healthy communities.
TRAINING & EDUCATION
Apart from the programs and services the Masoro Health Center provides, it also continues a commitment we have for inclusiveness in the design and construction process. We use building projects as a means to educate and train those who have traditionally been excluded from this process. For the Masoro Health Center, local men, women, and architectural students from Kigali University were introduced to building techniques and design strategies and worked alongside skilled laborers throughout construction. 70% of the Masoro Health Center construction was preformed by those outside of the construction industry.
Research & Innovation
Less & More
Typically concrete construction uses formwork that is thrown away after being used. Concrete has many advantages structurally, but comes at the cost of high embedded energy - the amount of energy that it takes to produce the material. This increases when formwork is taken into account. Our strategy with the Masoro Health Center was to embed cavities in masonry walls and compacted soil to serve as formwork and reduce the amount of concrete needed to create efficient structures with a lower carbon footprint.
Diagram by Min Hee Kim