The GHESKIO Tuberculosis Hospital

Architect: MASS Design Group

Owner: Les Centres GHESKIO

Location: Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Category A: Built: Less than $25 million (construction cost)

The earthquake that hit Port-au-Prince in 2010 exacerbated Haiti’s already high prevalence of tuberculosis by destroying the country’s health infrastructure and interrupting patient treatments. This precipitated an outbreak of Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB), a highly contagious disease that requires treatment lasting up to 24 months. Patients remain infectious for the first 2-6 months of their treatment regimen, during which time they need to be hospitalized in isolation to prevent the spread of the disease.

Both infection control and patient trauma—from extended seclusion and because of the severe side effects of medication (which can include blindness, deafness, and emotional instability)—were driving factors in the design of the Tuberculosis Hospital for Les Centres GHESKIO. The new GHESKIO Tuberculosis Hospital replaced the previously destroyed facility at Signeau, providing TB patients an effective and dignified place to stay for the duration of their long-term treatment. Simple but effective methods of passive ventilation and infection control were used to reduce in-hospital transmission of TB in this high-risk population, as well as reduce energy costs for the facility.

"This building was lauded for being of its place—responding to both the culture and the climate. It shows a sensitivity to the patients with an organization of rooms and courtyards that reaffirm hope and healing as well as serving to build community." ~ Jury comment

How this project improves patient healthcare

The GHESKIO Tuberculosis Hospital’s central feature is its interior courtyard, where patients spend much of their stay. Flower and tree beds bring color, shade, and seating to the space. A small fish pond provides a tranquil place to think and rest beneath the shade. Several covered common spaces open into this courtyard for individual and group leisure activities. Factoring in the hospital’s community and climate contexts, we built exterior corridors and outdoor consultation patios that diminish risk for healthcare workers and staff by decreasing exposure to airborne TB bacteria. Bamboo screens create visual privacy for the outdoor consultation spaces that line patient rooms. Bougainvillea vines have begun growing over these screens, covering the bamboo with additional greenery. Crowning the central opening is the hospital’s distinct woven metal cornice, in panels painted several shades of green. The slanted roof captures cross-breeze circulation that effectively cools down rooms below.

Additional information

Project attributes

Construction cost or anticipated construction cost: $2 million

Building area or anticipated building area: 14,000 sq ft

Construction start date or anticipated construction start date: June 2012

Substantial completion date or anticipated substantial completion date: March 2015

Project team

Construction Manager: GBS Group

Engineer -Civil: Fall Creek Engineering

Engineer - M/E: Berelec  

Engineer - Structural: CBI Consulting    

General Contractor: Chantiers d’Haiti  

Landscape Architect: MASS Design Group

Landscape Consultants: Jardins & Accessoires


Marlon Blackwell, FAIA (Chair), Marlon Blackwell Architects, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Vincent Della Donna, AIA, Jackson, New Jersey

Brian Uyesugi, NBBJ, Seattle, WA

Sunil Shah, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, California

Jim Henry, AIA, CallisonRTKL, Dallas, TX

Jocelyn Stroupe, CannonDesign, Chicago, IL

James Childress, FAIA, Centerbrook Architects, Centerbrook, Connecticut

Image credits

The GHESKIO Tuberculosis Hospital-04

Iwan Baan

The GHESKIO Tuberculosis Hospital-06

Iwan Baan

The GHESKIO Tuberculosis Hospital-05

Iwan Baan

The GHESKIO Tuberculosis Hospital-07

Iwan Baan

The GHESKIO Tuberculosis Hospital-03

Iwan Baan