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One of the most talented architects of our time, Renzo Piano, has undertaken the design of a pediatric hospital on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda. Renzo Piano’s approach is bold, modern and at the same time anchored in local tradition.
“This hospital will be an example of medical advances, sustainability, energy efficiency and space independence and harmony. We want to use the resources of earth, water and sun – the greatest, most true achievements of our time.”
For the construction of the hospital, a team of designers from Italy has chosen the technique of rammed earth. This uses the earth from excavation work, but also gives the dignity back to a technique that most people associate with the poor past. The technique of rammed earth is an archaic construction method in which the excavated earth, with natural grain size, is mixed with very little water and rammed in wooden or metal formwork. This approach enables the use of locally available resources with a minimal amount of energy input. The use of cement is minimized.
Built from the ground, the hospital will draw its energy from the sun with the help of 9,800 square meters of photovoltaic panels. The hospital’s power plant will be connected to the main power grid, to which it will supply power during periods of low power consumption.
The architect himself explains his vision for the landscape plan of the buildings: “Vegetation will be the horizon for the youngest hospital guests, trees – a metaphor for the restoration process.”