TateHindle Architects

A new hospital for Maji Moto

One week to design, seven weeks to construct, 17 volunteers, 10k Euro budget and 7000 compressed earth bricks – just some of the remarkable statistics involved in building the first phase of a small medical facility in rural east Africa.

TateHindle architect Veronica Soncini swapped practice life in London for a 3-month stint in northern Tanzania to help build a new dispensary in the Maasai village of Maji Moto. The project was undertaken with C-re-aid, an architectural NGO that promotes long-term socio-economic and environmental improvement across Tanzania.

From digging the building’s foundations to fabricating the roof, via hand-making 400 compressed earth bricks per day, working as part of a small team of volunteers, and without the benefit of mechanical equipment, Veronica helped to construct one of two simple concrete and brick buildings. The new medical centre will provide vital health facilities for 1,200 villagers whose nearest hospital is three hours away.

On her return to London in October, we asked Veronica to reflect on her Maji Moto experience: “Challenging, inspiring, humbling, eye-opening”.