Healthcare architectures

Guiba. Burkina Faso

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Reform and enlargement of the Guiba Maternity Unit

Albert Faus / Albert Faus Arquitectura

FAD Awards finalist 2017  International
Description Technical file

The Jury’s appraisal: With the resources inherent to the place and precise technical knowledge, this small modification and enlargement of a nondescript existing volume succeeds in ennobling and uplifting a basic public service for the community. A low external wall embraces and limits an open space in front of the new enlarged wing, completing a volume where interior and exterior are one.
The project’s goal was the comprehensive reform and enlargement of the Maternity Unit in the Guiba settlement, a rural community situated 100 km to the south of the capital of Burkina Faso. A total of 9 neighbouring settlements are administratively attached to this locality, around 15,000 inhabitants within a 15-km radius.
The existing construction featured an approximately square ground plan with a narrow continuous terrace along the entire length of the north façade where access for both the public and the healthcare personnel was located.
Inside, a structural wall that crossed the building parallel to the entrance façade generated a division between the public space (waiting room and consultation room) and the clinical area containing the storeroom, delivery room and inpatient area, rooms accessed via a small and narrow interior hallway.
In general lines, the intervention retains the initial layout, although it takes to the extreme the incipient separation of the public/clinical programme by extending the central hallway to the east and west façades of the original construction. This floor plan division is also patent in the section, since at present the central corridor completely separates the building into two bodies: the “public” one to the north and the “clinical” one to the south. The north block, intended for waiting and consultation, retains the initial dimensions, while in the south block the built piece folds towards the west to increase the inpatient space. This in turn allows the delivery room to be enlarged and fitted with an interior bathroom in the original piece.
The operation is completed with the construction of an external wall that formalises a courtyard connected to the new postnatal area. In Burkina it is commonplace for women from the settlement to accompany the new mother at the time of giving birth. This will be the space where they will spend the first hours after bringing the baby into the world.
The intervention proposes bioclimatic strategies to alleviate the harsh local ambient conditions. To do this, the old construction is enveloped in a self-supporting wall made from BTC compressed earth bricks, leaving an intermediate ventilated air chamber. This external shell will in turn support the considerable load of the new metallic roof. The same criterion is applied to the entire building, which has been given a double ventilated roof like a parasol-umbrella.
Underneath it, the new internal ceilings increase their constructional inertia.

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Localización Location: Guiba, Burkina Faso. Arquitecto Architect: Albert Faus / albert faus arquitectura. Colaboradores Collaborators: Miquel Comadrán (arquitecto, albert faus arquitectura) y Juan Vicente Maravilla (cálculo estructural, hac90 arquitectes). Cliente Client: Asociación Ajuda’m a viure. Contratista General Contractor: Concept Sarl. Redacción proyecto Project Draft: 2015. Ejecución Execution: 2016. Superficie útil interior Indoor floor area: 117m2. Superficie construida Built area: 165m2. Superficie bajo cubierta Surface under cover: 272m2. Fotografía Photography: Albert Faus.