Chipata Hospice

Chipata, Zambia, Southern Africa
Client: Foundation Chipata
Architects: ELstudio, Blol Kats van Veen architects (BKVV)
Engineering: BREED Integrated Design, Gilbert van der Lee
Energy Consultants: DWA

Hospices in the southern African country of Zambia are few, particularly outside the capital of Lusaka.  In Chipata, population 98,416, and the capital of the Eastern Province of Zambia, the architectural duo of ELstudio and Blok Kats van Veen Architects (BKVV) were tasked by Foundation Chipata with designing a hospice that would not only relieve some of the distress of caring for the terminally ill, but also introduce a low cost and solution that could be easily replicated at low cost.

The project was designed to provide a comfortable stay for 24 patients, expandable to  48 people, and with a CO2 footprint smaller than an average European household.

Space Plan

The building is designed as rotunda, reminiscent of  traditional huts, and organized around a central core of staff spaces and storage of medications and resources. Around it are twelve bedrooms, all visibly accessible from the central nurse station, and which can be extended yet again with extra rooms, connected by a wide circular corridor, which serves dual duties as the main circulation and providing space for family and visitors.

The central organization makes the building highly efficient; it provides a clear overview for the nurses, making it possible to run the hospice even with a shortage of staff. In addition, the round shape of the building lowers the need for maintenance and energy consumption. Together this leads to a substantial reduction of operating costs.

The building is made of local sourced materials using locally available labor.  Multiple openings around the exterior and inner core create natural ventilation and cooling in this subtropical climate, while keeping the interior well lit with natural light during the day.  Roof top solar panels general the building’s energy.

Images courtesy of Erno Langenberg and BKVV



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