• Aga Khan Hospital MRI Radiology and Physiotherapy Unit/ Tharani Associates

Architects: Tharani Associates  
Location: Dar es Salaam,  Tanzania
Project Year: 2005
Photographer: Tharani Associates

Year: 2002-2005

Healthcare architecture has taken a paradigm shift towards ensuring that patient-care and staff comfort are of paramount and equal importance within the hospital environment. The extension to the Aga Khan Hospital facilities with the additional of the Aga Khan Hospital MRI Radiology and Physiotherapy Unit by Tharani Associates lends itself to this  architectural school of thought and further  simplifies the forms within the design of the MRI unit at Aga Khan as much as possible to functionality, true to hospital architecture.

Tharani Associates approaches this design as a formal exercise in functionality of the hospital spaces with the stores to the spaces being cleared in the facing wing to form the physiotherapy unit with demountable purpose made partitions in accordance with the brief. The architects employed a purely contemporary feel to the facility perhaps to anticipate for future outlook of the project and to be in tandem with the client’s ambitions for a future embraced, both in corporate philosophy and in the general outlook of the project.

The project employs the use of passive performances throughout the building with natural light being maximized for patient and staff well-being and carefully recessed rooms with surrounding verandas to inhibit direct light and anticipate for diffused lighting. This ensures that the interior of the project experiences ambient and sufficient lighting throughout the day, reducing the need for artificial lighting in a region where energy bills are at an all-time high.

Further enhancing the patient and staff comfort is the ability for the building to breathe. The rooms within the facility have been equipped with windows no either side of the rooms and the incorporation of louvers on the building elevations to both cater for cross ventilation and balance out the building’s outlook. It is to be noted that the windows to the spaces are a play, almost tangram in accordance with the functionality within the building and the linear configuration of the windows with deep recess further protects the interior spaces form direct sunlight, reducing heat build-up into the building and further reinforcing the idea of a fashionable architectural thought to the style of the building.

The architects’ flare can perhaps be personally seen in the interior look of the project with a slow graduation from the outside. The colours are to be noted as earthy and solemn, yet vibrant towards creating a homely feel that not only radiates outwards, but subjugates the contemporary feel of the project to the earthy Dar es Salaam outlook. It is a way of having the building blend into its environment.

Further effort has been made to customize the interior spaces with bespoke furniture that the architect, Nadir Tharani <i>says enhances both patient and staff experiences and showcases the spirit of the firm in its design process.

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