An early artist's rendering of the African Design Center from MASS Design Group, which will open its doors in Kigali, Rwanda, later this year.
MASS has dubbed the project the "Bauhaus of Africa," seeking to match the transformative impact of the legendary German design school.
But the project will seek to create a new identity suited to local conditions, using "lo-fab" materials and building techniques.
MASS has launched several new infrastructure projects in Africa in recent years with "lo-fab" principles, such as the Butaro District Hospital in Rwanda, which used local labor and resources.
The Group also worked with the African Wildlife Foundation to deliver a school in the remote Congolese jungle village of Ilima.
Facilities that are adapted to the locality can save lives, as with Munini District Hospital in Rwanda, which minimized internal walkways to lessen the risk of airborne infections.
The 300-bed facility is located in Nyaruguru, one of Rwanda's poorest districts, and is designed around its hilltop location to maximize space.
The Group's Buhanga Specialty Hospital design for Rwanda aims to set a new standard for the region, offering cardiac services, adult oncology, women's health as well as wellness and rehabilitation.
MASS also works in Liberia, and is collaborating with the government to deliver the Redemption Pediatric Hospital.
The three-story, 145-bed design has an emphasis on quality of life, featuring nurse stations and a play area.
The Lupani primary school in Zambia caters for children that were previously forced to make long journeys for an education.
Haiti is another focus for Mass. Following the devastating 2010 earthquake, the group worked with local health care provider Les Centres GHESKIO to build a cholera treatment center.
Rwanda program director Christian Benimana (left) oversees a planning meeting at the site of the African Design Center. "The success of the program is just a matter of time," he claims.
MASS has identified design as a critical skill shortage across Africa, and believe it is essential to train a new generation of architects to meet the continent's future infrastructure needs.