International Specialized Hospital of Uganda: groundbreaking ceremony

Date 1 June 2017

Categories News


“A hospital on patient’s scale” designed by Progetto CMR

On June 1st, the groundbreaking ceremony of International Specialized Hospital of Uganda (ISHU) took place in Lubowa, near the Uganda’s capital, Kampala. The project is an avant-garde hospital complex designed by the Milan integrated design company Progetto CMR.

Local institutions, among them Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni, Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health Diana Atwine, State Minister for Finance (Planning) Matia Kasaija, took part in the ceremony, together with Ahmed Sultan, CEO of Finasi and with a substantial group of journalists and local media. Massimo Roj, CEO of Progetto CMR and Chief Designer of the project, has been invited to introduce the intervention and to describe its features to the guests.

Sustainability and innovation have constantly been the pillars of ISHU, a top-level medical centre that will cover a very wide range of medical specialties, including also treatments for tumorous, cardiological and neurological diseases, telemedicine and, for the first time in Africa, nuclear medicine. The Italian hospital “ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII – Bergamo” will play an active role in the organization, the launch and the management of the ISHU.

The complex, which will develop on an area of about 300.000 sqm, will consist in nine buildings that include the hospital with 268 beds for hospitalization and more than 100 for day hospital activities, support facilities such as homes for doctors and nurses, a training school, a congress centre, hotels and commercial areas. According to the spokesperson of the Ugandan Presidency, the realization of ISHU will allow the government to save over 180 million dollars, the average annual amount devoted to support citizens’ treatments and therapies abroad.

The will, shared with the Client, that constantly guided the design team, was to create a high-level medical centre, excelling not only for high standards of innovation and research, but also and mostly for a great care for patients: a place for treatments, with a human side, designed for the patients.

The architectural solutions of the project aim to reach these goals: the buildings, with moderate heights, have been designed and arranged following the natural curves of the land, minimizing its impact on nature and allowing users to enjoy the best viewsThe design of the façades evoke the surrounding context, thanks to the usage of local stone and the integration of unique intertwined ornamental motifs that recall traditional African weaves.

On the one hand, the exteriors are characterized by soft and delicate shades contrasting with the colors of the terrain; on the other hand, the interiors feature bright lights and colorful materials and furniture. This choice drifts away from the collective imagination of hospitals, often conceived as banal and soulless environments, and looks more like dwellings or welcome centres where patients and relatives can obtain more privacy. Furthermore, the outdoor area becomes fundamental to guarantee a good rest during illness, enjoying the terraces and the park that surrounds the complex. The result is a people-oriented, elegant and welcoming environment.

As for technologies and installations, the complex has been designed following the criteria of Green Building Council regarding sustainability, in order to reduce consumption and maximize the renewable resources available on-site. With this aim, sustainable systems such as high efficiency heat pumps, photovoltaic panels, green covering roofs and rainwater-harvesting systems have been provided.

“I’m absolutely proud of this project” expressed the architect Massimo Roj. “The result we see today is the outcome of a hard teamwork that put together different competencies and I hope that this will give a concrete contribution to this wonderful continent and to the establishment of Made in Italy!”

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