The final review of the second year’s architecture studio took place onTuesday 23th august.
During this semester the students have spend about 6 weeks rethinking and designing Nyabugogo market.

The presentation was divided in different categories refering to the main concepts of the students. Some students put emphasis on materials and forms while others worked on ground manipulation, negative public spaces, or continuity.

As It’s become a routine there were more than class lecturers to comment the works of the students including Sierra Bainbridge(Head of Department of architecture); third year’s design studio lecturers(Tomà Berlanda , Nerea Amoros Elorduy and Keffa Angwenyi) and first year’s studio lecturers (Yutaka Sho and Christian Benimana).

The Project was a success to students as it was commented during the crits. They worked through challenges in the overall project. The fact that the site was an urban infill incorporating a public space like a market, without forgetting the problem of hawkers and circulation(vehicular or pedestrian) and also taking into account that students came up with solutions to most of those problems was a good and recommendable work.

However, Students were asked to work on their drawing and presentation skills by working together and helping each other to improve one another’s.

After the exams and final reviews of the 2010-2011 year in FAED is time for September sessions’ workshops.

This year three workshops will take place, ranging from the smallest scale of the materiality and the tectonics of a wall; the architectural scale and its relation with the city organization trough a milk kiosk; or the largest urban scale of housing typologies and human settlements.

The workshop called Wall Works –Structure Patterns will be driven by Yutaka Sho, and Michael Beaman, and will focus on designing masonry wall systems that require no mortar, are structurally sound, resist seismic activity, and can accommodate a variety of openings for ventilation, views, circulation, and privacy for urban conditions.

Although the workshop focuses on material and tectonics, students are charged to explore urbanity through the issues including but not limited to scale, connectivity, double sided nature of the wall, visually and programmatic appropriation. The workshop will be held in two parts from 5th to 16th September 2011.

The first part will focus on pattern making through three concepts: tiling, interlocking, and layering. The second part will be an intensive session focused on using these 2 dimensional patterns to design, model and prototype a 3 dimensional wall system using repetitive masonry units. Each student will be supplied with model making materials, and expected to develop their project in 2 and 3 dimensions.

The work produced in this workshop may become the basis for a research seminar with students at the University of Virginia in the spring of 2012 as well as be complied in a publication that examines efficient masonry structural systems.

The milk kiosk prototypes workshop, will be held as well from the 5th to the 16th spetember 2011.

This one will be driven by Kilian Doherty and Nerea Amorós Elorduy with the support and sponsor of Rwanda Works.

This workshop will focus on the design for mobile kiosk prototypes. The goal is to be able to understand a bigger framework of production processes, selling strategies, and market logics, emphasizing their adaptation to the urban scenario and their specific design.

The workshop will be held in two parts. The first part will be an intensive urban understanding. We will focus on site and market analysis specifically on: the existing amata shops, and three general zones within the city where to possibly allocate these kiosks. The students will map and understand daily activities, patterns of movement and processes of production and selling. The second part will be the design of a prototype for a mobile/flexible milk kiosk. The teams will choose the best approach to it depending on lessons learned and the site where they will be working on.

The work produced in this workshop may become the basis for a further design development and real build entities that will work as prototypes for future amata kiosks.

(more info at

The workshop called Urban and Rural Housing Typologies will take place from Sep 5th to Sep 14th , every day (including weekends)

During this time the students will be invited to partner up with colleagues from University of Arkansas, USA, under the lead of an international team of designers. This Peter Rich, Tim Hall, Korydon Smith as well as Sierra Bainbridge and Tomà Berlanda.

Building upon the research started last year, in the Urban and Rural Settlement Patterns workshop, we will take an alternate approach to the current city master plan. We will be developing urban and architectural proposals that include:

  • exterior public/communal spaces
  • community service spaces, such as schools, churches, and health facilities
  • commercial spaces
  • medium-density domestic spaces for both displaced families and upper-income families
To accomplish this, we will utilize a four-phase process. First, we will explore the “unplanned” settlements of the urban, suburban, and rural environments in/around Kigali in an attempt to understand the social customs, spatial typologies, and construction methods of local Rwandans. Second, we will develop explanatory diagrams, drawings, models, and writings of our observations and interactions. Third, we will utilize this information to develop urban design goals and strategies that draw from the vernacular cultural, material, and spatial landscape.

Finally, we will develop architectural proposals that articulate and exemplify these principles.

The applications are open to participate, we hope those workshops will complement and improve the knowledge that the students learn during the semester, enjoying and enriching the faculty curricula.


The third year’s final review took place the 24th august and started at 8.30 AM.
The presentation was divided in morning and afternoon sessions.
During the morning session, the studio greet some external guest to give crits to the students projects; Luca Ginoulhiac from UNICEF Rwanda construction section, Marco Ginoulhiac professor at Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto, Killian Doherty from Architecture for Humanity, Yutaka Sho senior Lecturer at FAED, Sierra Bainbridge acting Head of the department of architecture in FAED, together with the instructors Tomà Berlanda, Nerea Amorós Elorduy and Kefa Angwenyi
For the afternoon session the new external guests were Garret Gantner lecturer at FAED, Ben Hartigan from Mass Group and Bruce Engel from Sharon Davis design studio.
The final reviews were organized in couples, were students with similar projects presented their projects to the guest and colleagues and received the crits and opinions.
The project was Swahili Woodwork Restoration and Exhibition Centre based on the existing model of the Research Institute of Swahili Studies of Eastern Africa (RISSEA).
The students were given 3 sites; Piggott place, government square and one adjacent to the cemetery and fort Jesus.
Today Mombasa’s Old Town is suffering from a progressive loss of productive activities. The majority of tourists arrive in Fort Jesus, where they are met by guides which bring them around on a fast paced walking tour, and then leave. They spend little time and money on the ground, thus failing to contribute to the revitalization and preservation of the neighborhood. Simultaneously the pressure by real estate development is pushing the old inhabitants outside of the Old Town. New, market driven, developments are constantly being proposed without any consideration of the history and tradition. With their design, the students have been invited to propose an alternative model for this, a cultural institute which will promote the future of the old town.
After the presentation students, instructors and guests shared a drink together.


The first year’s final review begun cleaning the studio the night before .The next morning ,first group had finished to pin up their work as the guest critics, Soita wambete,Sierra Bainbridge, Garet gantner, and Alicia capelli arrived .They started with two-by-two as they gave them their comments.
As the pin up progressed, the lunch time approached as well .But before we went for lunch, Dancilla,the representative of the COVAGA women weavers, one of the important guests arrived, giving some interesting critiques. After the presentations of a few more couple of groups ,we went for lunch .
The second session began with new guest Killian Doherty, Thomas Berlanda, Nerea Amoros elorduy, as time went on, some of the students that had finished their presentation disappeared and others were busy trying to finish their work in the creative design studio.
After the second session of the presentation, we voted for the top 3 students whose work was better and more comprehensive to be exhibited in the arcbox, within the exhibition “weaving transformations”.
The voting process begun with the students picking the best student from 3 groups thought did the best work, afterwards the lecturers voted as well. Later we all came up with three students: SHYAKA Aziz Farid ,INGABIRE Doren and KARAGIRE Christian .They were chosen as the representative students for our 1st year in architecture 2011 with the project of designing a bus stop for COVAGA in Gashora, Bugesera, Eastern province, which was not as obvious as it could seem.

In brief, the project although at the beginning of the semester, things were not making a lot of sense (how to use and learn from the weaving techniques to come up with a bus stop) as time went on, students learnt a lot from the different weaving techniques.
We really thank our lectures for the great lessons that we had together throughout the entire memorable 1st year of architecture.

This week the final reviews of the architecture design studios will take place, at FAED building.
First year's studio under the theme: Material / Technique / Concept in Space will take place on Monday 22th.
Second year's studio called: Nyabugogo Market Re-envisioned will be helded on Tuesday 23th.
And Third year's travelling studio to Mombasa called: Swahili woodwork restoration and exhibition center will be on Wednesday 24th.

Looking forward to see you all there.

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF DESIGN? MASS Design Group: Public lecture and Exhibition, FRIDAY 19 August 2.00 pm

With a scope of work beyond the purview of most architecture firms, MASS works as a partner with governments, NGOs, private sector firms, and health care experts to bring appropriate, empowering design work and advocacy for typically underserved and under-resourced areas. In this talk, Sierra Bainbridge (MASS Country Director) and Garret Gantner (MASS Project Manager) will discuss a holistic approach to design that seeks to increase the value of the architectural profession through interdisciplinary research, capacity building, and immersion in the field.

Butaro Hospital, Rwanda



The South African architect Peter Rich founded Peter Rich architects, on 1973. The studio works to engage the society through architecture, using sustainable designs and local materials. The gross amount of their projects are developed in Africa, from South Africa to Ethiopia or Rwanda.
Their project Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre has been awarded by the 2009 world architecture festival.

Designed to house artifacts from the region´s prehistory, the building connects intimately with an extraordinary veldt site in northern South Africa near the border with Zimbabwe. The complex landscape was both the inspiration for the design and the source of most of the materials for its construction. The heart of the interpretation centre is visually contained by two hollow vaults that evoke the route-markers found in southern African cultures.

Huge vaults are used to construct the billowing forms that expose the arched edges of their thin shells, an analogy of the archaeological revelation of past cultures.

The architecture of the centre responded to vernacular African types, synthesizing forms, materials and light in a nuanced but unsentimental way. The innovative design creates a contemporary building of immense resonance and richness. It is also underpinned by a strong social program, using the skills and labor of local people and involving them in the design and construction process.

Engaging with tradition and modernity, place and people, it offers a different view of architecture as a subversive and poetic force for transformation.Retrieved from:

Among the impressive projects they have done, Peter rich architects are now working in the develop of the akumunigo master plan in Kigali, Rwanda.

The Akumunigo housing development has been designed to create the opportunity for the city of Kigali to promote the development of higher density housing through a three storey walk-up design.
The scheme, at four times previous development densities, was developed to demonstrate how housing could be designed to make use of the sloping topography, create meaningful external spaces and respect the pedestrian.

The master plan was inspired by an understanding external space in the Rwandan urban and rural context. The Urubuga
or public open space is expressed in the scheme through semi-public walkways and courtyards, forming a network of external spaces that structure the development. The design therefore respects Rwandan tradition by incorporating this culturally cherished private courtyard within the layout. retrieved from:

The firm has scooped the contract to design a “white house” for Rwanda, which will be a home to President Paul Kagame and all future heads of state. The presidential residence would be so iconic that is likely to appear on future Rwandan bank notes. Retrieved from:

Peter Rich and some of his sketches of Rwanda

Drawing of Mapungubwe interpretaion center
Mapungubwe interpretation center

Mapungubwe interpretation center


Next week, on Wednesday 10 August, at 15.00hs the arcbox lecture series will host a public lecture about earth and sustainable techniques of building.

The organization, La Voûte Nubienne is currently working on a project for Gardens for health near by Kigali, during the month of August. The guests are going to explain us the traditional technique of the nubbian vault and how it is applied all over the world.

We hope to see you there.

Images retrieved from:


The studio project entitled "Swahili Wood Restoration Center: Workshop and Exhibition" of Jean Paul Uwase Sebuhayi a 3rd year architecture student in FAED was awarded the "Best student work from emerging schools of architecture" in the East Africa Region prize.

This year’s competition took place in Kampala on 28th to 30th July 2011. The event is organized every year by the (EAIA) East Africa Institute of Architects, and aims to encourage students to keep pushing their projects to the limits as much as they can. It is also intended to promote and award the students' best projects in the region, from emerging schools and also the best final projects. This year, The first price for the final project went to University of Nairobi. The student awarded was Nyandiko O. Frederick for the project named “Malindi Water world Oceanarium”.

The deliberating jury was impressed by the quality of work Jean Paul Sebuhayi in its exhibition and its presentation. The project presented was done on a site outside of Rwanda (Mombasa Old Town, Kenya). The challenge presented by the project was how to respond to the diversity of a mixed urban development. To achieve a sustainable and suitable design that learns from the site conditions and constraints and the local authorities requirements. It was crucial to understand and strength the existing historical and urban qualities, given by the identity of Swahili architecture. In addition, the design solution should demonstrate clear understanding of mixed urban development, site planning, appropriate design scale to the local setting and use of private and public spaces, movement patterns and form / image.

The members of the jury congratulated the faculty staff members as well as the work as school of architecture, encouraging and valuing what FAED has accomplished so far.

Jean Paul Sebuhayi thanks his instructors (Toma Berlanda, Nerea Amoros Elorduy, Kefa Angwenyi) for their efforts to make sure his work is well done and worth presenting to this competition. He thanks as well Christian Benimana, the FAED members, lecturers, and all his colleagues’ students.

Thanks to AAR (Architects Association of Rwanda) and particularly Eudes Kayumba (ex president of EAIA) for help us, be always supportive with the new generation of rwandan architects and make this happen.