Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery
Khartoum, Sudan
Aga Khan Award Winner

Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2013.

The Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery consists of a hospital with 63 beds and 300 local staff, with a separate Medical Staff Accommodation Compound sleeping 150 people. The centre is built as a pavilion in a garden with both primary buildings organised around large courtyards. The hospital block is of the highest technical standard with complex functions including three operating theatres optimally placed in relation to the diagnostics; laboratories and ward. Mixed modes of ventilation and natural light enable all spaces to be homely and intimate yet secure. Seeing the abandoned containers that had been used to transport construction materials for the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery, the architects were inspired to reuse them to house the centre’s staff. Ninety 20-foot containers form the accommodation block , each unit consisting of 1.5 containers, with a bathroom and small veranda facing the garden. Seven 40-foot containers are occupied by a cafeteria and services. Insulation is through an ‘onion system’ of 5-centimetre internal insulating panels and an outer skin comprising a ventilated metal roof and bamboo blinds. A solar farm powers the water-heating system.


Jury Citation:

 “The Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery champions the vision and resilience of all involved in delivering a responsible, efficient and inspiring model of health services in a society marred by war, internal conflict and lack of basic needs like water and sanitation


Intimately linked to surrounding nature, the “self-build” project facilitates an environment of clarity and healing, while providing the fundamental human right of health, free of charge to all. Following a bottom-up design process, this complex project evolved successfully by creatively engaging all its local, political, social, topographical and aesthetic specificities without sacrificing its vision for excellence and function. The compact state-of-the-art hospital also provides an exemplary prototype for the region as well as for the field.”


Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture

Khartoum, Sudan
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Associated Names
Part of Site
Associated Collections
completed 2010
Design 2008
Site area: 14,000 m²
Variant Names
Salam Cardiac Surgery Centre
Building Usages
health care