The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation already has strong ties with the Tambacounda region of Senegal; the organisation was behind the Thread Centre, which opened in 2015 as a site for artists from around the world to live and work in the rural village of Sinthian. Now, the foundation and Le Korsa have conceived and are funding a new initiative in the area - the extension to the local hospital – and the project has just been awarded to award winning Swiss architect Manuel Herz.

The brief called for the architect to enhance and expand the existing hospital facilities, and after a rigorous selection process, the Basel-based architect was chosen for the scheme, which is due to commence on site in September 2018.

The winning proposal feels both modern and sensitive to its environment. The extension features a curvilinear building connected to the existing hospital by a covered pathway. Brickwork that creates a lattice-like texture both serves a functional purspose, in that it filters light through and helps the air to circulate naturally, but also references local architecture, such as the Mashrabiya tradition. Herz, who was the curator and architect of the National Pavilion of the Western Sahara at the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2016, has worked with the region’s architecture before.

The design ‘aims at becoming a model and new paradigm for medical institutions in Senegal and for the African continent as a whole’, says Herz.

The project will provide a much needed boost in the capacity of the Tambacounda hospital, which currently recieves about 20,000 patients a year and is overstretched in terms of resources and space. §