The Umubano Primary School


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Can design improve access to learning?

In 2007, UK-based charity A Partner In Education committed to building a new school campus in the Kigali neighborhood of Kabeza for three hundred vulnerable or orphaned children and to replace the dilapidated existing facilities. MASS was brought on board to select the site, design the educational facility, and assist in building the organizational structure to support the educational programs for the Kabeza neighborhood.

The design includes seven buildings with nine classrooms and a library. The site plan and circulation take inspiration from the hilly landscape of the neighborhood and region, where switchbacks traverse the hillsides. Each room utilizes natural ventilation with screen walls and operable glazing, while a glazed Vierendeel truss in the roof structure provides sufficient diffuse daylighting.

Local materials such as brick and papyrus reeds were used and local craftspeople were engaged throughout.

Project Details

-1.968357, 30.121398

Location: Kabeza, Kigali, Rwanda

Year: 2011

Status: Built

Size: 900 sq. m.

Program: Urban primary school with outdoor teaching spaces

Services: Project Accompaniment, Architectural Design, Landscape Design, Master Planning, Construction, Administration, Curriculum Development

Clients:
A Partner in Education (APIE)

Partners:
Ujenge Construction and Engineering