Why are we doing this?
The Purulia Leprosy Hospital, located in West Bengal in India, was established in 1888 and is the oldest and largest leprosy hospital in India. It serves around 40,000 patients a year providing healthcare for both leprosy and non-leprosy patients. The hospital has been the site of many breakthroughs relating to the treatment of leprosy and holds a very important place in the history of the treatment and understanding of Leprosy in India. Despite its prestigious history, the hospital today is out of date and overcrowded.
Article 25 is working with The Leprosy Mission to increase and improve the facilities at the hospital by designing a new Out Patient Department and redeveloping the hospital campus to continue provision of free comprehensive care to people affected by leprosy.
Article 25, with technical guidance from the engineering firm Hoare Lea, is designing a new outpatient department that incorporates passive energy strategies and uses low-cost and low-maintenance materials. This will be followed by refurbishing existing outpatient spaces and renovating staff housing.
This project is made possible thanks to our partners from:
The progress so far
Over the last few months the team at Article 25 have been working hard to finalise architectural drawings for the design of the new Out Patient Department (OPD) at the Leprosy Mission Hospital in Purulia, India. We have been working alongside architects and engineers local to the hospital site to develop the drawing package to be issued for tender.
Using passive design
Ambient temperatures in Purulia can reach highs of 45 degrees Celsius in the day, making it so crucial for our buildings to remain cool in the hot summer days. The Article 25 team has adopted a series of passive designs for the OPD to respond to its natural environment. For instance, the long roof overhang protects patients from the high summer sun, while high-level vents allow for natural ventilation throughout the OPD.
Increasing visibility and accessibility
From ethnographic interviews done during the feasibility study, we learnt that not more people are using the hospital’s facilities simply because they were unaware. We wanted the new OPD to have stronger visibility by positioning it slightly beyond the existing hospital buildings and using prominent entrance features.