• Anidan Clinic/ Urko Sanchez Architects

Architects: Urko Sanchez Architects  
Location: Lamu  Kenya
Project Year: 2007
Photographer: Urko Sanchez Architects
Website: http://urkosanchez.com/en/home.php

Type: Humanitarian
Collaborators: Margarita Colorado
Gross Area: 350 m2

There are some projects that are small but great in design, and then there are those project that are small, great designs and most importantly of greater positive impact to the community they serve. The Anidan Paediatric Clinic is one such project. Built in the outskirt of Lamu where medical facilities were barely available the project served over 50,000 children in just two years of its running.

The project had a restricted budget but the designers explored local technology and materials to produce a highly functional and an amazingly visual sound development. Apart from being just a community development project, the project responds well to the hot and humid climate of the region. This was a conscious effort in order to avoid heavy energy consumption. High ceilings ensure high volumes and good air movement within the spaces. Local crafted high pitched and seemingly floating makuti roof limits the direct sunlight to the clinic space. Air movement within the rooms is enhanced via a long alleyway that is open to the roof and works like a chimney, drawing cool air in and hot air out. The heavy wall construction of the local available coral stone reduces heat gain into the building and has very small and controlled fenestration. The verandas to the front and the back of the building are not only an adaptation of the Swahili infamous baraza, but shade the windows that open to these spaces. Apart from the building footprint the project doesn’t disturb its found environment and everything is maintained as natural as it could get. In addition, the whole project is powered by windmills and solar panels.

This is one project that is invaluable to this community, crafted in the local technology and responds well to environment. But one cannot also miss its respect to local culture and community not just by using their technology and materials but by incorporating cultural aspects in the design. The most evident aspects being the baraza, which couples as both waiting area for the clinic and sun shading for the exposed windows, and the linear planning of spaces on either sides of a circulation alley.

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