Medical Research Council, Gambia

The MRC have a number of research sites in the Gambia. The principal unit is in Fajara with field sites up country in Keneba, Basse and Walikunda.

The research portfolio spans scientific research, clinical trials, large epidemiological studies and intervention trials.

The field and laboratory-based work draws on excellent research and clinical facilities and attracts international funding. The Unit has an established staff complement of about 200 scientists,  clinicians and senior administrative staff from many parts of the world, as well as hosting many visiting researchers, and has over 500 support staff.

There are requirements for expansion and modification to the facilities for both scientific and support functions.

The requirements on the Fajara site are for support facilities for the scientific community. These include additional on-site housing for all staff and visitors and for a lecture theatre to support the  promotion and communication of science undertaken in the Gambia.

Austin carried out a site inspection and user discussions. From this a site master plan was developed and agreed with the site team. Proposals for new facilities were designed within the site master  plan framework.

Over the years a loose zoning of the site has evolved. A cluster of scientific buildings and a cluster of support functions are located centrally on the site. Housing is dispersed generally towards the  perimeter of the site. The clinic is located on the perimeter in a secure compound with main public access off-site.

Developed strategy: The scientific zone with the new Whittle Building has space  available for additional science buildings.

A new lecture theatre is proposed adjacent to the existing meeting rooms, library and office facilities.

Proposed new housing is located around the perimeter of the site utilising vacant space  between existing houses and land adjacent to boundaries.

The proposed strategy allows for a phased approach to any development.

Lecture Theatre: The MRC in Gambia has increasing global reputation and importance resulting in an increase in visitors, collaborative work and sharing of scientific developments. Fajara is at the centre of this activity in the Gambia and requires new international meeting and conference facilities to support the business.

The proposal is for a new stand-alone facility comprising a large sub-divisible space, which will accommodate approximately 200 people. It will provide a flexible response to the requirement for meeting space.

The new centre utilises a mixed mode system of natural ventilation and mechanical ventilation to reduce energy consumption but respond to large numbers of occupants. The flat roof  accommodates an array of solar panels.

Housing: additional provision is required for new staff, visitors and to accommodate staff currently off site.

23 new houses have been designed ranging from 2 – 4 bedroom units.

The new housing  will be single storey bungalow type in individual fenced compounds some with carports. All properties have external covered verandas, with areas enclosed with insect mesh panels.

  • architecture
  • mechanical
  • electrical
  • structural
  • public health
  • construction
  • management