The hostel is conceived as a place for rest and healing for women patients who are receiving cancer treatment at the Bugando Medical Centre in Mwanza, the second largest city in Tanzania. Located 7 km away from the medical centre, the scenic site on the shores of lake Victoria allows for a deep, undisturbed relation with the natural elements, which constitute the focus of the complex.
A sense of community is fostered through judicious arrangement of the building blocks. They relate to each other around a central open courtyard, and provide ample openings and multiple views towards Lake Victoria. Monotony and repetition are avoided, though the building blocks are modular and linear in order to facilitate execution. Slight variations are introduced to break the linearity and create shaded spaces for social interaction and outdoor activities. The distance between building blocks allows for communication among patients while overall ventilation of the site is ensured.
The premises of the hostel are conceived as a healing garden. Orchard plantations and indigenous trees are added where possible: by doing so we improve the microclimate and prevent soil erosion while nurturing an environment that is appeasing and conducive to healing, where the patients will be able to find solace through connection with nature. Seeing greenery around is proved to have beneficial impact on one’s mood and therefore health. Along with this, the perception of a larger nature, with the scenic views of Lake Victoria and its surroundings, will foster the patients’ overall well-being. The comforting presence of the landscape is emphasised as most of the rooms have direct view towards the lake.