At the mention of Rwanda, the first thing that comes to mind for most people who lived during the mid-1990s is the country’s traumatic past. For a long time, the global media referred to Rwanda as «the genocide capital of the world». This was after the 100 days of severe unrest that led to the death of 800,000 people.
Today, Rwanda is telling a new global story of a country rising from the ashes.
For years, Rwanda’s economy has continued to see an annual average growth of 7.2%. A 2015 UN report identified Rwanda as one of the most progressive countries in Africa. The transformation has attracted investors, both local and international.
The architecture industry has been one of the greatest beneficiaries of Rwanda’s economic growth. Walking through the streets of Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, one can’t help but notice the tall buildings changing the country’s skyline.
African architects and internationally renowned architects are taking steps to introduce modern architecture in Rwanda’s major urban centres.
The Connection Between Rwanda and Burundi
Burundi is Rwanda’s neighbour to the south. These two countries are almost identical because they were once one country. In 1962, the Belgians opted to create a boundary to split the country into two. Today, Rwanda and Burundi feature in the top 10 smallest countries in Africa.
Despite the boundary, Rwanda and Burundi share similar ethnic communities, have few natural resources, and are densely populated. The similarities have extended to African architecture, which tells the story of two countries with a shared past.
L & F Consultants chose to focus on Rwanda and Burundi for various reasons. Besides their strategic location, these two countries share the same need, a rise in demand for modern African architecture to match economic growth.
L & F Consultants Building Projects in Rwanda and RDC
The team of Rwanda architects have successfully prepared designs for private, commercial, cultural, and institutional buildings.
Besides taking complete control of building projects from their inception, L& F consultants also provides consultancy services to other African architects who need their expertise.
Some of the consultancy services they offer include project management, quantity surveying, mechanical engineering, interior design, and structural engineering design.
School of Finance & Banking (SFB), Kigali
L$F Consultants prepared the design for the SFB building. The project was under Rwanda’s Ministry of Education. School of Finance and Banking is an 8-storey building in the University of Rwanda.
The team of Rwanda architects at L&F Consultants created two auditoriums on the ground floor. Each with a capacity of 500 students. The first to the seventh floors are the lecture rooms, while the administration is on the top floor.
Besides creating a modern complex, the Rwanda architecture also took into account the students’ comfort and lecturers, both in the lecture rooms and public spaces.
The Rwanda architects came up with the master plan, the technical design, and the landscaping design. Their work did not end after they won the tender. The team also supervised the construction to ensure the plan was followed as required.
Rwanda Parliament retaining wall
Rwanda is naturally hilly. This is one of the nation’s appealing features that Rwanda architects consider when designing building designs. Most of Rwanda is approximately 3,000 feet above sea level. The African architecture of Rwanda’s parliament overlooked the hill surrounding the building.
L&F Consultant Rwanda architects were tasked with the responsibility of designing a more substantial retaining wall. Additionally, they had to find a mechanism to prevent future erosion and damage to the airport-city centre road.
The team designed the wall but focused on creating terraces to control erosion and damage to the wall. From the top to the drainage at the bottom of the slope, the curved concrete blocks prevent future soil erosion and landslides.
The hollow concrete blocks allow vegetation to grow. The greenery adds beauty to the terraces. It also further controls the movement of water down the slope. The Rwanda architecture also involved the creation of a water movement path.
This concrete path carries excess water and drains directly to the channel. This protects the road from damage, and at the same time, adds beauty to the slope beyond which the Rwanda parliament stands.
The Gisenyi-Goma One-Stop Border Post (OSBP)
This project was initiated by the governments of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The OSBP consolidates border control in a shared space between both countries. The African architecture in this project involves a design that accommodates the needs of each country.
Anyone going to the post will appreciate the similarities in the service offered. At the same time, the exclusivity of each country’s department is evident.
The Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB), Nyanza Town
In this project, the RSSB was interested in African architecture comprised of a housing master plan for 260 housing units occupying seven storeys. This housing estate was to cater for the middle class in Nyanza Town.
Besides the residential houses, the Rwanda architects had to include amenities, such as a school, play areas, and shopping centre to cater for the community in this area. RSSB also requested the African architecture to include expansion plans for a golf course.
L&F Consultants were involved in the creation of the architectural and technical plans.
Nyabikenke District Hospital
This 400-bed district hospital offers outpatient services, internal medicine, theatres, maternity, pediatrics, imaging, and utility services. The entire hospital has an area of 13,000m2.
The team of consultants on this project handled the architectural and technical design to ensure the building retains a modern African architecture, and at the same time, remain functional. The Rwanda architects also supervised the construction to see their designs come to life.
The Rwanda Social Security Board, Rwamagana Town
L&F Consultants Ltd Company worked on another set of housing units for the Rwanda Social Security Board. This time, the project was a 350-unit middle-income housing estate. Amenities at the estate included a shopping centre, school, and play areas.
The Rwanda architects appreciate that Rwandan households are of different sizes. For example, some families can comfortably fit in a two-bedroomed house, while other families need three or four-bedroom units.
This is why the team at L&F Consultants opted for a design that caters for different households.
Ntongwe District Hospital
Rwanda’s Ministry of Health requested for the Ntongwe District Hospital, and Rwanda architects at the L&F Consultants Company presented the winning design.
This 300-bed hospital, found in Ntongwe District, has an outpatient unit, two theatres, an administration block, a maternity wing, a pediatrics department, and an imaging department.
Besides the architectural and masterplan design, the Rwanda architects provided technical service to ensure the plan is functional and that the spaces are sufficient for the hospital.
Rwanda National Police Office Building, Kigali
L&F Consultants designed the 5,000m2 ultramodern office building for the Rwanda National Police. Besides the administration offices, this African architecture includes two major conference halls covering an area of 2,000m2. The team supervised the construction to ensure Rwanda’s building control regulations are followed.
RALGA HEADQUARTERS, Masaka, Rwanda
This project was under the Rwanda Association of Local Government Authority. The Rwanda architects in this team provided the architectural design for this 2-storey office building. They also provided technical input during construction supervision to ensure the outcome is as was envisioned.
This Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) is behind the iconic GACULIRO MALL. The board requested a design that depicts modern African architecture. The team at L&F Consultants designed the 40,000m2 commercial building, one of the largest in Rwanda.
This mall has plenty of space set aside for parking vehicles, has several specialty shops, cinemas, gyms, restaurants, cinemas, and an Amphitheatre.
Projects in Burundi
L&F Consultants has also taken its African architecture expertise to Burundi. It has participated in various architectural competitions. Some of its designs came out top in very competitive segments.
For example, the Great Lakes International Company (GLIS) accepted the mixed-use five-storey building design. The first floor is occupied by a petrol station and a fast-food restaurant. The other floors are set aside for offices and apartments.
The team’s proposed design for the Ministry of Defense Building in Bujumbura won first place.
L&F Consultants collaborated with SNAT Architects in a design proposal for a 30-room 4-star hotel in Gatsibo District, Bujumbura.