A culturally resilient future for Moengo: reimagining the old hospital
This study analysed the current state and the history of an old hospital in Moengo, a former mining town, in Surinam. At the start of the 20th century, Moengo experienced its most prosperous time, when the mining of bauxite was introduced. The domestic war of 1986-1992 resulted in the decline of Moengo. Nowadays the hospital is mostly abandoned. The analysis of the history and the current state of the former hospital led to defining the heritage values of the hospital. This was followed by a vision on how future management of the property should be handled. The goal of this study was to find a new, suitable purpose for the old hospital. By means of workshops, interviews, conversations with the local inhabitants and presentations by the researchers in both the Netherlands and Surinam, the wishes of the Moengo’s population were collected in a bottom-up way. Additionally, the book ‘De Herbestemmingswijzer’ provided guidelines on finding a suitable purpose for this building. This thesis displayed the crucial role non-movable heritage can play in the revitalisation of Moengo.
Selecting a new function for the hospital was ultimately the result of a designing research. The option that resonated the most with Moengo was to convert the hospital into a secondary school. The new school purpose will be combined with the Tembe Art Studio of Marcel Pinas. Additionally, classrooms can be used after school hours as conference rooms for lectures, workshops and other gatherings. This new purpose aligns with the bigger picture of Moengo as a city. This study also formulated proposals about how the current staff village, where the hospital is located, and the surrounding public space could get a new role in line with the redevelopment of the hospital.