Image via the New York Times.
Editor’s note: Architecture magazine AZURE has named the Gheskio Cholera Treatment Centre 5th on its Best 10 Buidings of 2015 list.
Caption via AZURE Magazine:
THE GHESKIO CHOLERA TREATMENT CENTRE BY MASS DESIGN GROUP IN HAITI HAS AIMED TO TREAT ROUGHLY 750,000 CASES OF CHOLERA – A CURABLE DISEASE – SINCE THE ISLAND WAS HIT BY A DEVASTATING EARTHQUAKE IN 2010. THE STAGGERING FIGURE REVEALS THE DIRE NEED TO RETHINK PUBLIC HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE IN REGIONS WHERE HOSPITALS AND CLINICS ARE IN SHORT SUPPLY OR NON-EXISTENT
ASS Design Group, a not-for-profit Boston firm co-founded by Michael Murphy and Alan Ricks, is doing just that. This summer the firm opened the Gheskio Cholera Treatment Centre, where passive features kept construction costs low and stripped away the need for prohibitively high-cost operating systems. The porous cladding (built by local metalworkers) provides natural light and ventilation for better air circulation; an on-site wastewater treatment facility helps thwart further recontamination; and floors are pitched toward drains to assist in washing away surface microbes.
As New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman noted, solution-based design thinking like this might even nudge Western hospitals away from the outmoded sealed building paradigm that relies on energy- and money-sucking mechanical systems. “Architectural innovation these days can travel south to north, after all,” he wrote, “not just north to south.”