The Shipping Container Medical Compound for the Salam Center Khartoum, Sudan
The Salam Emergency Cardiac Surgery Center provides highly specialized care to patients with heart disease and is located in Soba, Khartoum – Sudan. During its construction the architects Studio tamassociati observed the large amount of discarded shipping containers that were used to transport medical supplies lying around the building site, and then decided to use them.
Over ninety 20 foot containers were assembled together to create housing for the Salam Center’s international staff compound. Each container is divided into two 20 foot lodgings that consists of a bedroom, bathroom, and a small veranda opening onto the courtyard. Seven 40 foot containers were used to create the cafeteria.
The containers were insulated with a “layer system”, with the internal walls padded with 5cm thick insulating panels, and the outer skin with a second insulated roof and a bamboo brise-soleil system. In this way the sun never directly hits the shipping containers. An innovative air conditioning system has been tested by using solar panels and chilling machines – saving a huge amount of energy. Solar panels also provide hot water for the residences.
The Salam Emergency Cardiac Center was completed in 2009, and was conceived as a system of buildings and inter related spaces – not just a structure. The site is located South of Khartoum, overlooking the Nile River. The project includes a hospital organized in large courtyard layout, a guest house building, building services, several gardens, a pavilion for prayer and meditation, and a village for staff.
The Salam Center is fundamentally a health project, but highly political because it introduces the concepts of free care as a right and health cooperation between countries, even to hostile neighbors. Salam also employs and trains local medical staff. The project operates at the regional level involving nine countries bordering the Sudan (an area roughly the size of Western Europe).
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