Frank Bohm Studio: A river runs through it

Forget the clinical, mundane and generic look of many hospitals. The new Lady Pohamba Hospital in Namibia recently received a much-welcomed makeover inspired by the natural landscapes found in north-Africa. The entrance itself is set in an imaginary estuary where a river runs and wildlife roam free. Patients and workers alike can take refuge here – in a safe, well-designed retreat that is also a feast for the eyes.

As an architectural and furniture design studio based in Cape Town, Frank Bohm Studio expresses a unique EuroAfrican design language. The team recently had the rare opportunity to work on the architectural build of the 5-star private hospital in Nambia, as well as develop bespoke furniture for the space, from their own label.


The idea was to redefine the exterior and main internal public volumes of Lady Pohamba Hospital in Namibia. While under full construction and with all four slabs cast, Frank (owner of Frank Bohm Studio) flew up to Namibia to understand the aesthetical and technical requirements.

With only a month deadline to submit a proposal, the team needed to understand the main conceptual idea of the project in order to redefine the entrance volumes and layering systems to create new elevation – all according to a stringent budget. The new façade boosted two layers and the use of natural materials with concrete and face brick to withstand some harsh climatic conditions. The circulation of the internal structure of the hospital was also resolved to function according to the needs of the hospital. The results were outstanding and so well received that Frank Bohm Studio now has the potential to provide additional designs.  

Furniture: We love the concept behind the huge hospital entrance which is set on an imaginary river estuary with strong natural influences, such as the idea of birds flying and waterlilies flourishing nearby. For this, Frank Bohm created the Carmine Pendant, a series of 12 by 2.3m wide pendants made of aluminium and powder coated in a metallic turquoise colour as per the underside of a Carmine bird’s wing. These lights ‘flew through’ the 15-meter-high volume.

A series of circular seating arrangements was also designed and manufactured in timber and leather. Ten high back ‘Water Lily’ couches were created in a blonde leather with extra high backs for intimacy and privacy in this big volume space.  

Furthermore, the Sepal Table, named after the protective part of a flower, was produced from turned solid kiaat timber and the table tops were visually segmented to imitate that of a flower. The idea was to create a softer and more harmonious internal volume, contrasting with the hard hospital exterior building. The result is a haven of tranquillity where patients and guests can find solace in a space inspired by the beauty of north-African wildlife.
  Contact: Frank Bohm Studio


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