Building Dignity in War-Torn Sudan
tamassociati designs a hospital as a place of peace, healing, and gathering within a refugee settlement in Sudan.
Written by: Katie Crepeau
Photos: Massimo Grimaldi and Raul Pantaleo
Picture this scenario — you and your closest relatives have just moved to a foreign area in your country. The promise of work, and the desperate search to find it, has lead you here in order to feed the people you care about most. With metal scraps, tree branches, and other materials that you scavenged from the roadside, you made a hut to provide shelter from the harsh environment—heat, wind, disease, maybe even some neighbors. As you walk to fill jugs from a distant well, clouds of dust make your eyes water and your throat scratchy, leaving a reddish coat on your clothes and skin. Inside some huts you pass, people lay on reed mats, alone and recovering from some sickness. Children weave in and out amongst neighboring shelters, kicking a soccer ball, coughing, hungry.
For some, this is the reality of living in Sudan.
Thousands of miles away in their cozy Venetian garden studio, a team of architects from tamassociati is working on a new hospital design for a community such as this. From organizing room adjacencies, drafting up plans and elevations, and selecting materials, their decisions will have a profound influence on the health, well-being, and vitality of this Sudanese community. And unlike some of their disconnected, first-world contemporaries, who’ve never seen or experienced such a place (like many projects sprouting up in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East), this consortium of architects is refreshingly unique.
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