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 provides both a home and psychosocial support facilities for patients and families traveling long distances for treatment at the Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence (BCCE). 

Since the opening of the Butaro District Hospital in 2011, the region has become a hub for medical excellence. Partners In Health developed the BCCE as part of its efforts to advance the treatment of non-communicable diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. The BCCE administers IV chemotherapy in an outpatient setting; the new Support Center will accommodate the growing demand for inpatient care.

To inform the design of the facility, MASS met with patients, attendants, and clinicians, to identify the unique needs of each user group as well as shared desires for communal spaces. The design includes outdoor porches and a 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 to reduce the risk of infection for patients with compromised immune systems and provides dignified sleeping quarters, showers, toilets, dining, and counseling spaces. 

The Support Centre’s exterior walls curve with the steep, terraced hillside, which have been  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.

It is the fifth MASS-designed project on the campus, following the Butaro District Hospital, Doctors’ Housing, Doctors’ Sharehousing, and the Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence. Today, the campus serves more than 3,000 patients and has attracted global health experts from all over the world. 

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)