Insufficient water is one of the most severe problems in rural Africa. For many families it is extremely time consuming to collect and can easily start conflicts between villages.
We had an idea that we should create a dew/rainwater collector as a roof and the rest of the building would more or less handle itself.
To test the idea we went to the Sahara desert where an experiment with a dew collecting umbrella where performed. (http://thegoldbrain.blogspot.com/2009/02/sahara-field-trip.html)
We wanted to design a modern and free-standing structure that could be added to a rural building and at the same time supply the hospital with clean water.
The solution is simple. An upscaled upside down umbrella serves as a roof to a rural built hospital. The umbrella roof is gathering rainwater or dew depending on location to supply the hospital with clean water. The big umbrella also serves as a light roof giving shadow to the hospital. The umbrella will be a recognizable symbol for children healthcare seen from miles around.
The structure is made out of light felt and steel. In the middle of the umbrella shaped tent there is a water container gathering the clean water from the roof.
At first the hospital is built as a small village with local materials under the umbrella, the water container becomes the midpoint of the hospital. The hospital gets energy supply from solar panels.
When the hospital grows the umbrella can easily grow by adding an outer layer of felt and moving the pillars outwards from the centre point. The different houses expands by mirroring themselves outwards. As the structure grows the water supply surface gets bigger at the same time.
As time goes by, modern material can be added to improve the village without interfering with the design. Our hope is that the structure becomes a roof for constant developing
As a final stage a facade with sun protection can be added, making the building into a modern hospital. It is our hope and belief that the regions in need for this hospital will develop into strong economies one day. This building is prepared to stand in better times as well.