MasterBuild Africa

David Adjaye unveils designs for children’s cancer treatment centre in Rwanda

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The architect, who was born in Tanzania, is designing the Gahanga International Children’s Cancer Hospital for a four-hectare site in Gahanga, a region to the south of Rwandan capital Kigali.

sign Group, a nonprofit US firm, plans to start an architecture and design training centre in Kigali, Rwanda, to help address the “dearth of professional designers” across Africa.

In an interview with Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs last month, Adjaye said the hospital would be the first of its kind anywhere in Africa.

“It’s really important that techniques that are very commonplace in the West are also transferrable to Africa, and that lessons learned on the ground in Africa inform the practice,” he explained.


The project was commissioned by the Eugene Gasana Jr Foundation – a charity set up to improve access to cancer treatment for children in the country. It was co-founded by Rwandan ambassador Eugène-Richard Gasana and named after his son, who received cancer treatment in America.

The hospital will provide residential accommodation for patients and staff. “The building aims to promote healing and recovery for the children and their families,” said a statement from Adjaye Associates.3


“Most importantly, the brief called for a space that adds dignity and hope to the lives of the children, hence elements like the views, lush planting and access to natural light have been key.”

Rectangular in plan, the three-storey building will feature a geometric facade that draws on the region’s traditional Imigongo art form, which involves applying a surface of cow dung to walls before adding graphic patterns in black, white and red.


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