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Kigali Art & Culture Centre


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Sara Johnson, Hanley Wood Media

Project Name

Kigali Art & Culture Centre

Project Status

Concept Proposal


Geelhoed Group



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Project Description

FROM THE ARCHITECTS (Sept. 29, 2015):

(Translated from Dutch to English with Google Translate)

Along with Geelhoed Group, we won the competition for the Art & Culture Centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Our design concept for Kigali Art & Culture Centre is inspired by African art, crafts and culture. Very typical of this African identity is the use of patterns. These patterns form the basis of our design.

Rwanda, "the land of 1000 hills," is of great natural beauty. Central to this hilly landscape stretched out over four hills, the city of Kigali is built. The city center is one of these hills, while the government center again on the adjacent hillside. The valleys are green and watery and free of buildings, so these are valuable green veins of the city. Not only for cooling but also for the discharge of rain water. These are the wetlands and are an essential part of the city of Kigali. Precisely at the transition between city and wetlands, in a place where two valleys meet, it is Kigali Art & Culture Centre. A place with great relief and plenty of space around them.

The elevated plaza, we have divided into areas of 50 by 50 meters each with its own symbolic patterns inherit. This grid is the urban grid on which the buildings are situated. Every part of the grid has its own interpretation; water, entertainment, playground, outdoor theater, events terrain park, stairs. Under this public space are located the shopping mall and parking garage.

The scale cultural center is designed so that it does not hinder in the public space. The halls of the building hanging over the public square back and come together in an area of 50x50 meters. Because of the large cantilevered portions of the building also offers shelter from the climate, shade from the sun and a dry place when it rains. The facade consists of geometric patterns that refer to African tradition.

The square is completed by two cubes of 50x50x50 meters on the corners of the grid. The hotel on the north side is a hollowed cube, where daylight shines deep inside. On the south side is a residential complex. This cube is cut toward the footprint so the building falls on the urban grid within the plan boundaries. The ensemble of buildings are connected to each other through the public square.
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