TB Clinics and Research Laboratories in Ethiopia

Rose Option Studio, Fall 2009TB Clinics and Research Laboratories in EthiopiaPROJECTThe Studio Project will be in two parts: a central TB Clinic and Research Laboratory in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, and a connected network of smaller Rural TB Treatment Centers dispersed throughout this large country of 85 million people.Part AMain Program. A 200 bed TB Clinic and Research Laboratory to be located on or near the grounds of Addis Ababa University. This clinic will be the headquarters and coordination center for a network of smaller clinics to be located in as many as 30 rural communities throughout the country.Additional Program. Space for patients co-infected with HIV AIDS; spaces for a small library, conference, teleconference, art and other educational programs; and a landscape, which will be integral programmatically, architecturally and medically to the project. Special Requirements. Critically important for TB treatment, and typically lacking in facilities in Ethiopia, are a high volume of fresh air, substantial amounts of controlled daylight and moderate temperatures, (achieved in western countries with complex mechanical systems). The studio will devise sustainable strategies for these requirements, using the architecture itself and minimal mechanical systems.Part BA prototype 10 to 20 bed TB Clinic and Research Laboratory designed to be prefabricated, transportable, modifiable to local needs and conditions, to be set up in as many as 30 rural communities throughout the country. Environmental requirements and sustainability goals will be the same as for the larger clinic in Addis, but with the possibility that these facilities will be off the grid.CONTEXTTuberculosis (TB) creates an immense health burden on vulnerable people world-wide. In 2007, Ethiopia alone had an estimated 314,000 new cases of TB (378 cases per 1000,000 population). With only limited treatment available, many of those infected slowly die, infecting others along the way. Ironically, this poverty-related disease is a generally treatable and curable disease, and is ultimately preventable. The Federal Ethiopian Ministry of Health has recently started collaborating with Dr. Anne Goldfeld, a faculty member of the Harvard Medical School and a respected physician and scientist in the field of TB research and treatment. Her work in Cambodia over the past 16 years with the non-governmental organization originally known as the Cambodian Health Committee (now known as the Global Health Committee), has produced a highly successful paradigm of TB treatment and prevention that is being shared with the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health.With Dr. Goldfeld as our primary advisor, the goal of the studio will be to design a network of facilities that will help support this new TB treatment paradigm. Matthias Schuler will also advise the studio with respect to a parallel goal of innovation in the realm of sustainability.ARCHITECTURAL CHALLENGEArchitecture cannot, by itself, cure TB. However, intelligently and systemically conceived, as part of a connected network of medical, technical, political, cultural and human resources, it can be extraordinarily effective.The challenge of the studio will be to invent an architecture of lean, sustainable, strategic buildings – buildings which are easily built and modifiable using local materials and methods, mostly cast concrete and timber, or buildings which can be prefabricated, tranported to a site and locally assembled.Though these buildings will be instruments of desperately needed change, the studio will strive to go beyond the needs of pure \”science\” and \”function\” to make structures and spaces that are beautiful and uplifting as well.TWO KEY ADVISORS