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UC Design Effort Resulting in Tanzanian Health Clinic Wins National Recognition


A UC project to design and help build a clinic in rural Tanzania will receive one of only three national awards from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. The ACSA is the premier professional organization dedicated to advancing the quality of architectural education.

Date: 2/4/2012 12:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Provided by Michael Zaretsky

UC ingot   Until recently, anyone wanting medical care in the Tarime region surrounding the community of Roche, Tanzania, had to walk for miles to reach the nearest city. That included women in labor or people with serious injuries.

Because of the need for medical facilities in that area – combined with challenges related to the site – University of Cincinnati faculty and students in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), the College of Medicine and the College of Engineering & Applied Science, as well as project sponsor Village Life Outreach Project and others, worked together over several years to design a health center that was then built by the local community and includes features like earthquake-resistant masonry, natural cooling methods and more. The facility opened on April 1, 2011.
The UC-designed Roche Health Center is now in use. Here a blood-pressure reading is underway.
The UC-designed Roche Health Center is now in use. Here a blood-pressure reading is underway.



In all, UC faculty and students worked both in classroom settings and studios and on site for three years in order to help make the clinic a reality. Last year, the project won recognition from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), an organization that oversees the licensure of architects, and on March 2, the project will be one of three recipients of the 2011-2012 ACSA (American Collegiate Schools of Architecture) Collaborative Practice Award – which honors the best practices in school-based community outreach. Accepting the ACSA award on behalf of the project team will be Michael Zaretsky, assistant professor in UC’s School of Architecture and Interior Design, part of the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.

Said Zaretsky, “The best part of receiving this award is the fact that it’s coming from an educational body after the project has already received national recognition from an organization of architectural practitioners. That means the work succeeded in combining  architecture practice and education. It’s being recognized on both fronts, and we here at UC are appropriately engaging practice and academia.”

As part of the Collaborative Practice Award, the UC humanitarian design project details will be published in the electronic “Architectural Education Awards Book, 2012,” and disseminated among ACSA member schools.

“The idea,” according to Zaretsky, “Is to encourage and inspire others to take on similar challenges.”
Members of the local community and members of UC's community at the health center.
Members of the local community and members of UC's community at the health center.



Because of the UC initiative, which involved students and faculty from across the university as well as non-profits, professionals, private industry and the local community in Roche, Tanzania, the community in East Africa has a healthcare facility for the first time in history.