Rwinkwavu Operating Rooms and Neonatal ICU | 2015 SEED AWARD WINNER

Location: Kayonza District, Eastern Province, Rwanda

Issues addressed: Health, Local Identity, Job Training

Summary: Over 40% of residents of Kayonza district are defined by the Rwandan government as living below the poverty line; just over 7% of households have access to electricity. Though literacy is quite high, the majority of families – just under 80% – rely on agriculture as their principal source of income, rendering any new employment and high-value skills training opportunities highly relevant. According to statistics by Partners in Health, under-five mortality in Kayonza district remains higher than in surrounding districts, bringing this improved neonatal care ward to the top of the list of priorities. The NICU and OR building’s design responds to both issues identified by the facility’s doctors, patients, and administrative staff who occupied the old NICU wing, as well as to the gaps in infrastructure identified by the Ministry of Health. MASS prioritized patient wellbeing, as the building replaces a small and hot room that constituted the previous NICU. This spacious facility, in one of the hottest regions of the country, was designed for cross-ventilation; a system of high and low windows facilitates natural cross-breezes. The carefully-landscaped spaces allow visitors to stay close at hand without overwhelming the NICU and OR’s medical and patient areas.

Team: Michael Murphy, Co-founder and CEO; Alan Ricks, Co-founder and COO; Christian Benimana, Project Manager; Garret Gantner, Project Manager; Amelie Ntigulirwa, Global Health Corps Design Fellow; Commode Dushimana, Project Designer; Partners in Health; Rwanda Ministry of Health

Jury Review: This is “Capital A” Architecture that meets a critical public health need. It is a beautiful building involving training of local builders in extending traditional construction methods into new configurations and potentials. A good example of an office putting their full energies and assets into a project.