Children’s Surgical Hospital

Built for Emergency, a medical NGO operating in Africa, the Middle East and central Asia, this new medical centre is being established to provide free treatment for children in need of surgery from all over Africa.
The building has been designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) and TAMassociati, together with Emergency’s Building Division.

The site, 35 km from the Ugandan capital of Kampala, follows the natural slope of the ground down to the banks of Lake Victoria.
The building has been designed to provide security and a sense of enclosure but also openness and hope.

It is very modest, pared-back architecture, balancing resourcefulness with aspiration.
The Surgical Hospital has a low-tech appearance, with rammed earth walls rising from the ground and a hovering roof, covered in solar panels, held up by a simple steel structure.

The Children’s Surgical Hospital was built in earth stabilized and pressed with a technique known as pisé, using excavated earth from the foundations.
The construction method used demonstrates considerable technological progress compared to the ordinary practice of building in pisé, maintaining the materiality and liveliness of the clay and ensuring ample structural safety.

PROJECT: Children’s Surgical Hospital
STUDIO: Renzo Piano Building Workshop & Studio TAMassociati
AREA: 9,695 m2
LOCATION: Entebbe, Uganda
YEAR: 2021
LEAD DESIGNERS: RPBW, TAMassociati, Emergency’s Building Division with Milan Ingegneria, Prisma Engineering, F. and S. Giorgetta
PHOTOGRAPHS: Emmanuel Museruka – Malaika Media, Will Boase, Marcello Bonfanti