Kintobo Health Center


In Rwanda every hill is not only a topographical entity, but a social space. Traditionally the hilltop was reserved to the house of the chief of the village, which allowed the members of its community to use the fields on the slope.

The decision of placing the Health Centre on a conspicuous position, where one climbs to, where the patient is brought by his family, also holds a strong symbolic value.

On one hand it conveys the idea that a Health Centre is an important building in the landscape, on the other it tries to conceive the illness not as a stigmatizing event for the individual, but as something that touches and concerns the entire community.

The design is focused on the patient and the relation between the patient and the natural environment. The integration of landscape in the general layout is used as a healing device: the ward and the maternity blocks are located in main position to guarantee the inpatients nice views towards the valley or interior courtyards.

Sustainable design solutions characterize the entire intervention: natural cross ventilation achieved throughout the courtyards distribution; harvesting of rain water; control and distribution of the natural light in each room through sheds and skylights.

Local traditions and day to day life drive some of the main design choices: areas for meetings as well as for gathering, family cooking and laundry have been introduced and used by patients families and local communities

  • Place: Kintobo, Rwanda
    Client: Health Builders
    Status: completed in 2016
    Design: ASA Studio + TAMassociati