situated within the low income area of masiphumele in cape town, theMAAK has designed a new clinic in partnership with the desmond tutu HIV foundation (DTHF). positioned on a site that is already home to an existing clinic facility, the intervention provides increased space for the leading medical work that is being carried out by the organization. with a primary focus on the social issues of the south african region, the design also intends to form a ‘striking and welcoming’ architectural expression that forms a balance between ‘bold and subtle’.
the inner working of the building is subtly revealed through the screen as visitors move across the site
the building is characterized by the saw-tooth roofline that has been designed by the social architects to bring in diffused light whilst also creating an eye-catching exterior. on the main, north-facing elevation, the façade is articulated by aluminium fins that aim to create a proud entrance for DTHF. when viewed from the side, these fins compound to resemble a solid structure, however, upon moving across the site, the fins appear to move apart, affording an element of transparency. from this angle, visitors can see through into the inner workings of the facility.
detail of the north façade, image © anton scholtz
in comparison to the north-facing façade, the southern elevation is formed to be more understated, yet still retains the saw-tooth profile to conform with the building’s overall identity. within the interior, this saw-tooth shape functions to provide a diffused, south light in the upstairs offices, affording a more comfortable working environment than direct daylight. on the lower levels, light-sensitive lab spaces have been created under the shade provided by the overhanging ‘social landing’ above. with its bold exterior architecture, the desmond tutu clinic strives to create a new face for the impressive work being carried out by the organization, which strives to help communities across south africa.
from the entrance perspective, the north façade visually compounds to create a bold, formal presence on arrival
the saw-tooth geometry of the scheme is expressed on both the main north façade and the more understated southern elevation
diffused southern light enters into the 1st floor offices through the saw-tooth roof, image © anton scholtz
ceiling detail, image © anton scholtz
video courtesy of theMAAK
floor plan study
a typical bay exploded axonometric
column / wall construction detail
the angled back façade of the scheme proudly announces the new social forecourt whilst also acknowledging the existing clinic facility on site
project name: ‘desmond tutu clinic’
location: masiphumele, cape town, south africa
edited by: lynne myers | designboom
architecture in south africa (31 articles)
healthcare facilities (74 articles)
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