Francisco Colom, MDes 2019

Summer 2018

Organization: MASS Design Group, Boston, MA

Sponsor: Joint Center for Housing Studies Community Service Fellowship


“Lately, I have continued working with MASS on a hospital project in Liberia. Since 2010, the team has been collaborating with the Ministry of Health on a series of projects and initiatives, and we’re currently developing a master plan and design documents for the new hospital. The facility will be a centerpiece of Liberia’s renewed drive to build an optimized system that will not only avert future epidemics but deliver comprehensive services to a growing population.

Regarding the program, phase 1 is a two-story, 155-bed facility encompassing comprehensive pediatric and maternity services. Phase 2, on which I’ve been working, includes an education center on a plot adjacent to the hospital. The project makes use of innovative ventilation strategies in the form of solar chimneys that minimize energy use, ensure effective infection control, and reduce operational costs.

Collaborating on this project has allowed me to understand the importance of using passive climatic strategies in the context of Western Africa. While more recent technologies may sometimes be available, the difficulties related to their maintenance invite us to give priority to other solutions to ensure that the proposal is context-sensitive.

Image: New Redemption Hospital Caldwell by MASS Design Group”