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David Adjaye unveils design for pediatric cancer treatment center in Rwanda

The metallic, geometric façade is based on the region’s traditional Imigongo art.

July 23, 2015 |
David Adjaye Architects, Rwanda, Africa, Architecture, Cancer Facility, Healthcare, Children, Pediatric

Slated for a 2017 completion, the facility will be the first of it’s kind in Africa. Renderings courtesy David Adjaye Architects

A 100-bed children’s cancer center is planned in Gahanga, a region south of the Rwandan capital Kigali. Designed by British architect David Adjaye, when completed, the facility will be the first of its kind on the African continent.

The renderings that have circulated depict a warm-colored metallic, rectangular structure enveloped with a sheet of triangles. As Adjaye tells Dezeen, these triangles are inspired by the geometry of Rwanda’s traditional Imigongo art form—graphic patterns designed using dried cow dung.

Sitting atop a 10-acre site, views to the landscaped outdoors was important in Adjaye’s designs. The architect said his goal was to “add dignity and hope to the lives of the children.”

The generosity of light flowing in, larger-than-life photographic murals, a warm color theme, and large windows that seamlessly bring the outdoors inside depicted in the renderings attest to Adjaye’s goal.

Construction is scheduled for later this year, and the facility is planned to open in 2017.

Pushing aside sterile and clinical design for healthcare facilities to make way for livable and charming spaces has been an emerging trend this decade, with the late Michael Graves as one of its biggest proponents. Other cancer treatment centers that take this approach are the Maggie’s Centres in the United Kingdom.


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