Students to unveil designs for Kenyan health care centers

George Mann

Chanam Lee

Macharia Waruingi

Zhipeng Lu

Design concepts for a new generation of multipurpose community health centers to serve people throughout Kenya, created by students in an interdisciplinary Texas A&M design studio, were unveiled Feb. 17, 2016 in the Langford Architecture Center.

"Millions of Kenyans struggle every day trying to find quality health care, and many die due to lack of care, or care of very low quality," said Macharia Waruingi, chief executive officer of Ustawi Biomedical Research Innovation and Industrial Centers of Africa, who is advising the students.

UBRICA, which invests in African healthcare facilities and medicines, medical devices, and medical/health supplies to serve the continent, is aiming to build and manage the centers to provide affordable, quality medical care throughout Kenya. 

Approximately 30 architecture students and 22 landscape architecture students worked individually, producing a design for a multipurpose facility to serve an assigned Kenyan county. The facility includes space for healthcare, a pharmacy and medical lab, retail establishments, a farmer's market, and community education and civic engagement.

After a series of presentations by Waruingi about the east African nation's medical needs and culture, students created designs customized to facilitate respective counties' geography, regional conventions, disease distribution and local economic activities.

Following the Feb. 17 review, the students will begin working in teams to design UBRICA ONE Biomedical Industrial City, a 4,330-acre masterplanned research and health care city on a site near Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

The designs will include a 120-bed “general hospital of the future,” housing for active, healthy living and a biomedical research laboratory.

Students are creating designs for the health centers and the biomedical city in an “Architecture-For-Health” studio led by George J. Mann, holder of the Ronald L. Skaggs Professorship in Health Facilities Design, Chanam Lee, a professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, and Zhipeng Lu, architecture lecturer.

The students are also collaborating with Bita Kash, director of the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health's Center for Health Organization Transformation.

The studio is the latest in a series of design students' collaborations with Waruingi.

In 2014, students led by Lee, Mann, Lu and created a master plan for Thompson & Grace Medical City, a multipurpose healthcare development in Nigeria, and a design for a 1200-bed medical facility within the medical city.

posted February 16, 2016