New Delhi-based architecture firm Architecture Discipline’s design for the Delhi Government’s Mohalla Clinics was recognised by Fast Company (USA) for being among the best projects designed to respond to current events from across the globe.
Fast Company is an internationally recognised media brand that focuses on world changing ideas, technology, innovation, creativity and design. Mohalla Clinics is the only Indian entry to feature in Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards for Rapid Response in 2022. The list includes products such as Navis by Artefact, an app for emergency preparedness, a Vital Ventilator by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Temporary Refuge Housing by Airbnb.
The Mohalla Clinics use upcycled shipping containers to provide compact, easily deployable primary healthcare solutions for neighbourhoods in Delhi. The design for the clinics was developed by Architecture Discipline for the Delhi Government’s Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics program and is set up with the support of Tata Power-DDL. In the first phase of deployment, two clinics were set up in the urban settlements of Shakur Basti and Rani Bagh in Delhi. Five hundred such clinics are to be set up across Delhi in subsequent phases. Following the model in Delhi, the state of Punjab too has initiated the set up of 16,000 Mohalla Clinics in all of its constituencies. Governments of Nepal and Australia have also reached out for the set up of similar facilities in their countries.
The Mohalla Clinics are built from shipping containers salvaged from various container yards in Delhi and Haryana. Two 20-foot-long containers are joined together to form a single clinic that includes an examination room, a reception and waiting area, a pharmacy accessible from outside, and a washroom. The clinic is fully equipped to support routine health checks, testing, and medicine purchasing.
The clinics are prefabricated and also come preinstalled with electrical and lighting fixtures, essential interior finishes, and furniture. Their compact size allows them to be easily transported to various locations and to be installed with minimal on-site construction.
The interiors are oriented towards creating a hygienic and optimistic patient friendly environment, with air-conditioning and insulated walls that protect visitors from Delhi’s searing heat. Interior finishes such as the anti-microbial vinyl flooring and medical-grade stainless steel countertops are designed to be sterile and easy to maintain.
Akshat Bhatt, Principal architect of Architecture Discipline, said, “The clinic’s design capitalizes on the structural strength of a discarded shipping container and works with it as a module, reducing the need for costly modifications or custom-built additions. In this manner, it redefines post-industrial waste as a medium for universal affordable healthcare. By taking something forgotten and giving it a new lease of life, the Mohalla Clinics present a sustainable solution for the health infrastructure crisis across the globe.”