Medical Housing Compound / Studio Tam associati

© Raul Pantaleo

Architects: Studio tamassociati – Raul Pantaleo, Massimo Lepore, Simone Sfriso, con Pietro Parrino y Gino Strada
Location: Soba, Khartoum,
Client: Emergency NGO
Coordinator: Emergency Technical Office, Pietro Parrino
Structural Engineering: Francesco Steffinlongo
Services & Mechanical Engineering: Nicola Zoppi
Site Engineering: Roberto Crestan, Alessandro Tamai, Claudio Gatti
Contractor: ISNAD Sudan
Site Area: 8,663 sqm
Constructed Area: 1,668 sqm
Project Year: 2008-2009
Photographs: Raul Pantaleo

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Looking at the amount of discarded containers laying around the building site of the Salam Centre we had this simple idea: to use them again in order to realize the required international staff housing compound.

construction process
construction process

The Compound placed besides the Hospital, in the surroundings of the Nile river, is realized around a great courtyard full of wonderful mango trees. It consists of 95 20ft-containers for housing and 7 40ft-containers for the cafeteria. Every lodging is 20 sqm and is realized with one and a half containers; the lodging is composed of bedroom, bathroom and a small veranda on the court side.

exploded model
© Raul Pantaleo

Peculiar care has been dedicated to insulation and energy saving. The containers are insulated with a “layer system”. Inside the container 5 cm insulating panels have been placed. The outside “skin” is realized with a second insulated roof and a bamboo brise-soleil panel system. In this way the sunrays never hit the containers. This system involves a huge energy saving. Solar panels also supply hot water for the entire compound.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Medical Housing Compound / Studio Tam associati" 17 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
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  • josep

    what a gem!
    is the first time I see the use of containers as a beautiful material/object, there is so much poetry in this project
    I really like this one!

  • yeah

    This is incredible. One of the best, most humane projects I have seen lately. Use of materials and technologies adequate to the purpose, environment and site context.

    It’s not a “let’s live in a container in Amsterdam because it’s trendy” kind of idea but a very clever answer to the specific economical situation.

    Another thing is the beautiful aesthetic side where the container seems no longer an industrial object – you can barely recognize it anymore – BUT it’s not hidden in shame of its’ form and shows itself in material and texture.

    I’m really at loss of words when seeing how good this project is. How functional, beautiful spaces were created while using such simple means.

    Bravo, congratulations to the authors!!! This is architecture in its’ most sincere and sensitive form.

  • INawe

    i usually don’t like prefab container projects but this one has been done so well. love the overall finishes and look.

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  • Dung Trinh

    I surprised when saw the start project to finished, not only nice but also usefull for indigenous community .
    this project we should to learn.
    may be this frame can be construction at some my poor villages , in VietNam

  • Yasir Merghani

    what a lovely design …now this is the real Architecture.