Butaro Oncology Support Centre

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Butaro, Burera District, Rwanda

The Butaro Oncology Support Centre is the first inpatient cancer support facility in Rwanda. The center will provide both a home and psychosocial support for patients and families traveling long distances for treatment at the Butaro Cancer Centre of Excellence (BCCE). 

Since the opening of the Butaro District Hospital in 2011, the region has become a hub for medical excellence: its expansion includes housing for doctors and medical staff, as well as the BCCE. Partners In Health developed the BCCE as part of their efforts to advance non-communicable disease care in sub-Saharan Africa. The BCCE adjoins the Hospital and administers IV chemotherapy in an outpatient setting. Today, the campus serves over 3,000 patients and has attracted global health experts from all over the world. The new center will support the increasing number of patients at the BCCE and the growing demand for inpatient care.

To inform the design of the facility, MASS met with patients, attendants, and clinicians, revealing the unique needs of each user group as well as the shared desire for a communal gathering area. The design includes outdoor porches and a gallery common area with spaces to sit, to share moments with other patients and families, and to enjoy the view. The structure is designed to maximize natural ventilation and provides dignified sleeping quarters, showers, toilets, a cafeteria, and counseling spaces. 

The Support Centre’s exterior walls curve with the steep, terraced hillside, offering beautiful views of the surrounding hills for patients and their families. The landscape design continues the language of the existing BCCE landscape. Terrace forms are based on existing BCCE geometry and will be planted with alternating short grasses, long grasses, and perennials. The healing landscape and serene spaces all contribute to creating a peaceful and dignified space of recovery for patients, families, attendants, and clinicians.

Project Details

-1.408, 29.831

Location: Butaro, Burera District, Northern Province, Rwanda

Year: 2019

Status: Completed

Size: 750 sq. m

Program: Support facility to provide housing and community space for patients and families at the Butaro Cancer Centre of Excellence.

Services: Architecture Design, Landscape Design, Structural Engineering, Construction Administration

Partners In Health

ARUP (technical assistance), Elie Carter (MEP, BOQ)