As architects, we have a responsibility towards society and the planet. I believe in designing buildings that are climate positive, that empower local people, and are in balance with the poetic dimensions of architecture.
Anton Larsen is a Principal in the Kigali office. Anton joined MASS in 2017 and has been instrumental in the design and construction of seminal projects like the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture (RICA), a 1400 Ha off-grid climate positive agricultural university campus with over 60 buildings, awarded with the 2020 ASLA Award of Excellence for Analysis and Planning, and most recently the Norrsken Kigali House new campus in downtown Kigali, first example in Rwanda of adaptive reuse of a historic site to convert it into Africa’s largest hub for entrepreneurs to help fuel growth and investment in the region.
As a thought leader, Anton’s research has been focused on climate positive design and has been advancing the work of the Performance and Provenance Council, contributing to MASS’s organizational sustainability goals and implementing carbon targets and measurement tools across project teams. His research has also been focused in developing viable opportunities for affordable housing in East Africa, implementing possibilities like prefabricated low-carbon AAC construction (Autoclaved Aerated Concrete) for the Masaka Housing project and the first and largest 3D printed housing development on the continent for 14-Trees in Kenya.
An architect and urban designer, Anton first came to Africa in 2011 with Peter Rich Architects in South Africa, and has led teams on projects ranging from education, civic, workspace, housing, equity, urban design, research and policy in multiple countries across East Africa, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain, and the United States. Anton is a member of the Rwanda Green Building Organization and is an accredited EDGE Expert, IFC green building certification and design tool to certify resource-efficient and Zero Carbon buildings.
Anton has been involved in strategic planning and policy work for the Government of Rwanda, and led the SEA of the National Urbanization Policy to strengthen socio-economic, environmental, and green urbanization aspects of the policy. He was a key contributor to the Kigali Green City Concept developed for the Ministry of Environment and GGGI, a 600 Ha green district development, was the co-author of the Green Gicumbi Low Carbon Climate Resilient Settlements project proposal to the Green Climate Fund for the Ministry of Environment and Rwanda’s Green Fund Fonerwa, as well as a contributor to the Ministry of Trade & Industry Domestic Market Recapturing Strategy, also called the Made-in-Rwanda Strategy.
Anton has a portfolio of over US $130M designed. His projects have spanned across affordable housing, sustainable architecture and urban planning as well as innovative projects such as the Rwanda Cricket Pavilion, a technologically advanced earth vaulted structure built using local materials and local labor, winner of the 2018 IStructE Structural Award for Small Projects of under £1 million.
Anton graduated from the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture. While he was still a student, Anton began his involvement in social architecture and his projects were exhibited twice at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB).